Asean finance ministers review economy, chart directions

April 4th, 2008 - 1:19 pm ICT by admin  

Da Nang City (Vietnam), April 4 (Xinhua) Finance ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) are reviewing here Friday global and regional situations and putting forth directions for closer financial cooperation. The 12th Asean Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) being organised in Vietnam’s central Da Nang city will discuss global and regional (Asean Community) situations, the Asean Charter and the region’s financial and monetary integration roadmap.

Cooperation between the 10-member Asean countries and China, Japan and South Korea will also be discussed. The Asean countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“I hope the finance ministers will share experiences and solutions to prevent economic recession, inflation and social insecurity and strengthen financial systems of the region as well as of each country,” Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung said in his welcome speech at the meeting.

The weakening global economy, including the US, rising oil and food prices have affected the Asean countries. Now the biggest challenge of the bloc is to bridge the gaps by 2015 to deal with such situations, he said.

The ministers are expected to approve and sign a protocol to implement the 4th Package of Commitments on Financial Services under the Asean Framework Agreement on Services.

The three main objectives are to enhance cooperation in services among the member states, eliminate restrictions on trade and liberalising trade by expanding its scope beyond the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

The 13th AFMM is expected to be held in Brunei in April 2009.

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