Archive for the ‘ASEAN General News’ Category
contributed by Kok Sap
First full day as President, Mr Trump just killed TPP today,January 23,2017. This snow ball effect which will,in fact, impact other trade agreement that US made with its neighbors during President Clinton administration. As promised, President signed the withdrawal today. Thus it currently can not be ratified due to U.S. withdrawal from the agreement today.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) or Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a trade agreement among eleven of the Pacific Rim countries—notably not including China. The finalized proposal was signed on 4 February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand, concluding seven years of negotiations.
(The former Obama administration claimed that the agreement aimed to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in the signatories’ countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.)
” The TPP contains measures to lower both non-tariff and tariff barriers to trade and establish an investor -state dispute settlement or investment court system is a system through which individual companies can sue countries for alleged discriminatory practices.”
PHNOM PENH, May 10 (Xinhua) — The National Assembly of Cambodia on Friday ratified the agreement on maritime transport between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, saying the agreement is essential to develop trade and economic ties between ASEAN and China.
Seventy-five out of 76 lawmakers attending the Assembly session gave ratification to the agreement.
“The agreement aims to facilitate and foster cooperation in passenger and cargo transport by sea among the signatories,” Nin Saphon, Chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Commission on Public Work, Industry, Mines, Energy, Commerce, and Land Management, said during the session.
The agreement was signed by Transport Ministers of member countries of the ASEAN and China in Singapore in November 2007, she said.
Cambodian Minister of Pubic Work and Transport Tram Iv Tek said that cooperation in the international maritime transport field between the contracting parties will be beneficial for the development of the trade and economic relations between the member countries of ASEAN and China.
“This agreement is very significant for Cambodia in solidifying international cooperation, chiefly the cooperation between China and Cambodia, refining and burgeoning maritime development in the interests of Cambodia’s economic prosperity,” he said.
The ASEAN-China maritime transport agreement will take effect once ratified by all the ASEAN member countries and China.
According to the National Assembly of Cambodia, so far, all contracting parties, except Indonesia, have already ratified the agreement.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, April 11 (Xinhua) — ASEAN foreign affairs and trade ministers on Thursday held meetings and discussed, among others, the progress made since the 21st ASEAN Summit, including political and security cooperation.
The ASEAN Ministerial Meetings in preparation for the 22nd ASEAN Summit were held at the International Convention Centre.
ASEAN ministers discussed the on-going work on the publication of the ASEAN Security Outlook, and received reports from various ASEAN bodies for submission to the ASEAN leaders.
A press release issued following the closed-door meetings said ASEAN ministers emphasized the importance of maintaining peace, stability, mutual trust and cooperation to enhance maritime security, and of ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes in the South China Sea in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law.
The ministers also reiterated the need for all parties to exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that would complicate or escalate disputes.
The ministers reiterated their Statement on the Six-Point Principles on the South China Sea, and emphasized the need to maintain momentum on dialogue and consultations following the positive outcome of the 19th ASEAN-China Senior Officials consultation.
The ministers tasked their senior officials to work actively with China on the way forward for the early conclusion of the code of conduct on the basis of consensus, the press release said.
China says disputes over the sovereignty of some islands in the South China Sea and the overlapping of ocean rights in some parts of the region should be solved by the countries concerned through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of respecting history and international laws.
28-01-2013 VIENTIANE (Vientiane Times / ANN) – Mekong River Commission (MRC) member countries are not urging Laos to halt construction of the Xayaboury dam in northern Laos as has been reported in some foreign media outlets.
At meetings of MRC members held in Luang Prabang province, Laos, last week, none of the three members who are Laos’ immediate neighbours voiced opposition to the Xayaboury hydropower project, which is now under construction in Xayaboury province.
Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam agreed that Laos should continue to improve the design of the run-of-river dam with a special focus on minimising the impacts on sediment flows and fish migration.
They also called for a comprehensive study of all development activity along the Mekong River, closer monitoring of development projects, and wider dissemination of information regarding development.
According to a statement by the Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Dr Nguyen Thai Lai, provided to the MRC meetings, Vietnam expressed concern about the possible adverse impacts of the Xayaboury project and other developments on the Mekong.
He called on all four countries, and MRC development partners, to support implementation of the Study on Sustainable Management and Development of the Mekong River.
The study will assess the relationship of six impacts on the use of Mekong River water: irrigation, agriculture and land use, domestic and industrial use, flood protection structures, hydropower and transport.
Permanent Vice-Chairman of the Cambodian National Mekong Committee, Mr Sin Niny, said in a statement that Cambodia encourages MRC members and donors to mobilise all resources and efforts to support the implementation of the study.
He told donors he would ensure that sound Mekong River Basin development planning and management could be done jointly and in a sustainable way, for the sake of the riparian countries.
Deputy Minister of Energy and Mines Mr Viraphonh Viravong said the Lao government joins other MRC countries in wanting to accelerate the comprehensive study “so that all the impacts – not only hydropower – will be assessed in order to help ensure sustainable development on the Mekong River.”
He added that Laos also wants a flow of information and data to be established for more effective monitoring of development in the Basin.
“There is a mountain of information with us and we want to make sure that we can hand over the relevant information to the concerned organisations,” he said.
Mr Viraphonh, who is Vice Chairman of the Lao National Mekong Committee, questioned the motives of those in media and international organisations who continue to suggest that some MRC member countries are calling for a halt to the Xayaboury project.
“We don’t understand why the foreign media and some NGOs insist on pitting MRC member countries against each other when the facts, the minutes and the proceedings of meetings clearly show that the member countries are not opposed. The Lao government has a responsibility to develop national hydropower resources in a sustainable manner for the benefit of our people, but those who continue to voice opposition have no responsibility to the Lao people.”
MANILA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — A three-day workshop to address the growing phenomenon of violence against women in ASEAN countries began on Tuesday in the Philippines, a senior government official said here.
The Training Workshop on Strengthening Capacities of Communities, Practitioners and Policy Makers to Address Violence Against Women (VAW) is part of Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) commitment to advance the goals of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25, Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman said.
“The workshop hopes to identify common approaches that service providers and practitioners can adapt to effectively address violence against women in the Asian region,” she said.
The event is being participated by social workers, law enforcement officers and non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in managing cases of victims-survivors of violence against women, from the ten ASEAN member-states.
The gathering aims to provide a venue for participating countries to share their initiatives, strategies, gains, challenges, and recommendations on strengthening capacities of communities, practitioners and policy makers in addressing VAW focusing on victims-survivors, perpetrators, and enabling mechanisms, Soliman said.
“This time, we need to focus on the service providers and stakeholders, particularly on strengthening the capacities of communities, practitioners and policy makers as the next step to eliminate violence against women. We are looking forward to a fruitful sharing of ideas and strategies that will effectively eliminate this social malady in the Asian region,” she said.
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — In the backdrop of a historic visit by U.S. President Barrack Obama, the 21st ASEAN summit closed here on Tuesday after making significant strides on key trade, human rights and regional disputes.
Obama, the first ever sitting president to visit Cambodia, during talks with Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders pledged to engage in a range of issues including economic and security aspects.
ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan in a brief interaction with media after the U.S.ASEAN meeting remarked that Obama had stated the U.S. would support the centrality of the bloc.
“ASEAN leaders welcomed the statement on supporting ASEAN centrality in the evolution of cooperation in the region. The U.S. also pledged to engage economically and work on security stability in the region.”
Assuring of a long engagement Obama had remarked on the rapid increase in relations between the two sides and insisted that continued meetings would result in more extensive engagement.
“All leaders were enthusiastic of more extensive relations and continuous summits that would lay down irreversible momentum for U. S. and ASEAN relations,” he said.
Another important aspect that was highlighted was ASEAN’s adoption of a Human Rights Declaration. However the document ran into criticism from activists that insisted it was too flawed to be passed but Cambodian Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong was emphatic that it was a “starting point” for the region to address human rights concerns.
More than 50 local and international rights groups criticized the document insisting that the signing should have been postponed so that the declaration could be redrafted.
In response to criticism, ASEAN foreign ministers decided to add a paragraph to the Declaration at the last minute expressing that it would abide by the stipulations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but won few fans for the effort.
On the economic front, ASEAN and its partners on Tuesday launched negotiations of a comprehensive partnership agreement that when completed will be the world’s biggest regional free trade deal.
Australia, China, India, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand, officially kicked off negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership or RCEP at the final day of the 21st Association for South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The idea was first mooted at the 19th ASEAN Summit in November 2011.
The significant progress made in ASEAN’s FTAs with China (ACFTA) , Japan (AJCEP), Korea (AKFTA), India (AIFTA), and Australia and New Zealand (AANZFTA) has put these trading partners in a position to bring to a higher level economic partnership.
When completed the RCEP will span 16 countries with a combined market of over 3 billion people and a combined GDP of about 19.78 trillion U.S. dollars based on 2011 figures.
“With the region accounting for more than half of the global market and about a third of the global economic output, there is no doubt that a successful RCEP would significantly contribute and boost global trade and investment,” said Dr. Pitsuwan.
RCEP negotiations are expected to commence in 2013.
In addition it was reported that South Korea, China and Japan had also agreed to form a free trade agreement at the summit, which is expected to formally begin next year.
Malaysia and Indonesia during bilateral meetings with China called for more investment from the world’s fastest growing economy and promised to fast track trade agreements.
Trade between ASEAN and China is set to continue its expansion with the bloc’s largest trade partner encouraged to step up investment in the region.
“We are hoping for more investment from China. Even though trade has grown tremendously the trade deficit and trade gap between ASEAN and China is larger than in some other regions,” Dr. Pitsuwan said.
Trade between China and ASEAN has sky-rocketed from 7.9 billion U.S. dollars in 1991 to 292.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2010.
The FTA between ASEAN and China became effective in 2010.
Smaller countries such as Myanmar also progressed on economic agreements. On Monday Thailand and Myanmar signed a joint agreement to move ahead with the multi-billion dollar Development of Dawei Special Economic Zone (DSEZ). Japan and India have also expressed interest in jump starting trade and investment relations with the fast-changing nation.
An eventful 21st ASEAN summit concluded with Cambodia ceremoniously handing over the chairmanship to Brunei, passing on the responsibility of meeting the demanding target of an ASEAN community by 2015 and setting the stage for intensified engagement as Asia continues to spearhead world growth.
PHNOM PENH, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) — The first-ever ASEAN global dialogue was held here on Tuesday, focusing discussions on global challenges, particularly economic and financial issues.
The dialogue, held back to back with the 21st ASEAN Summit and related Summit, was attended by the leaders or representatives of East Asia Summit and the heads or representatives of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the Asian Development Bank, and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
The high-level forum was initiated by Cambodia, aiming at exchanging views on global challenges and ASEAN role in contributing to solve all issues, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said at the opening address.
“We hold the meeting while the world has not completely got out of the global financial crisis, so we have to continue facing the uncertainties of economic growth and other issues in the future,” he said.
He added that slow economic growth and weak financial system in some developed countries have caused the global market to face instability and investors are reluctant to release their capitals.
“Despite in this difficulty, to date, ASEAN economies remain resilient,” he said. “However, if the situation of the global economy is still weak, ASEAN will be inevitable from the consequences of the crisis.”
“Therefore, the dialogue is very important to reflect the rising role of ASEAN in interactions to determine economic policies in the region and the world,” said the premier.
Leaders of the 18 countries in the East Asia Summit including the ten-member ASEAN and the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand and Russia are gathering here to attend the 7th East Asia Summit, which will be held this Tuesday afternoon.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.