Asian bloc to promote economic cooperation
Asean on track to achieve zero-tariff goals, but challenges remain
Trading shift `needed to avoid crisis'
FTA to propel regional economy
More exchange-traded funds soon
PM: EU yet to fully uncover Asean's potential
RP Ready to Chair ASEAN Ministrial Group in 2006 – Romulo
Asian Monetary Fund Good Idea, Says Nobel Laureate
ASEAN Promotes Opening of Services  
GMS Meet at Kunming
Investment Cooperation to Advance Economic Growth in East Asia
Accord on vast UN-backed Asian Highway Network Enters into Force 4 July
Singapore Pact is a Step Towards India-ASEAN FTA'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian bloc to promote economic cooperation
By Susan Tam, The Star Online,
Friday July 29, 2005

FORMING regional blocs among Asian economies to promote economic cooperation will likely be the main diplomatic activities in the next few years.

These activities are aimed at achieving sustained economic growth and improving living standards of countries in the region.

This argument was raised by several Asian leaders and economists at the Third Asia Economic Summit. The two-day conference, themed Asia on the Move: Enhancing Competitiveness, Expanding Opportunities, started in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Click here to read further: http://thestar.com.my/services/printerfriendly.asp?file=/2005/7/29/business/11627935.asp&sec=business

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Asean on track to achieve zero-tariff goals, but challenges remain
Daily Express, Sabah, Malaysia
21 July, 2005

SINGAPORE: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is on track to achieve a zero-tariff regime by 2015, a key ingredient for its ambitious plan to create a single market and production base by 2020, regional officials said.

Regional trade officials said the 10-member group was working its way through the difficulties of implementing the proposed Asean Free Trade Area (Afta).
The process has been fraught with problems due to the wide variations in economic development of the nations, from wealthy Singapore at one end of the spectrum to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam at the other.

Click here to read further : http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=35915

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Trading shift `needed to avoid crisis'
19 July 2005
BHANRAVEE TANSUBHAPOL

Thailand could face another financial crisis if it does not change the way it trades with other countries, the commerce minister Thanong Bidaya warned, and said the current pace of globalisation has not only involved financial aspects but also trade, services and competition with other countries around the world.

``The integration of FTAs [free trade agreements], both bilaterally and multilaterally evolves very quickly. If Thailand doesn't pay attention to this, we could lose out in the latest trends in globalisation, and that could prove worse than during the financial crisis,'' he said during a seminar on national law reform for international trade and commerce.

Mr Thanong further said economic integration in Asia, particularly among the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), has been lacklustre.

Click here to read further: http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/19Jul2005_news15.php

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FTA to propel regional economy
China Daily
July 19, 2005

BEIJING, July 19 -- China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are taking a tangible step towards creating the world's most populous free trade area (FTA). They are scheduled to lower tariffs on more than 7,000 industrial goods, spearheading the full implementation of the Agreement on Trade in Goods inked in November 2004.

Zhang Yunling, Director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told that "The Sino-ASEAN drive to achieve trade liberalization marks the historic inception of the China-ASEAN FTA, a big free market encompassing 1.7 billion people, an aggregate gross domestic product of almost US$2 trillion and overall trade volume worth US$1.2 trillion per year."

Demonstrating co-operation between China and ASEAN, which has been developed from a mere framework to include more substantial content, the move is expected to create an ideal environment for both parties to benefit from economic integration.

Click here to read further : http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-07/19/content_3236918.htm

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More exchange-traded funds soon
The Edge Daily
Jul 18, 2005

Malaysia listed the RM560 million Asian Bond Fund (ABF) Malaysia Bond index fund -- the first exchange-traded fund (ETF) -- as part of the Asian initiative to develop the domestic bond market, and more of such funds would be launched.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Yusli Mohamed Yusoff said there would be more ETFs in the near future including those in equities and corporate bonds. According to him, According to him, “there are a few market participants which had approached us (for the introduction of ETF). We are looking at a minimum of six months before see equities in the EFT.”

Click here to read further: http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/contentPrint.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_2919c15f-cb73c03a-18782a70-d33d3d12&paging=0

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PM: EU yet to fully uncover Asean's potential
Doreen Leong, The Edge Daily
July 14, 2005


Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said while Asean has emerged as a stronger and more stable source of growth, the European Union has yet to fully uncover the region's potential.

"The reservoir of opportunities that can be offered by a robust Asian region, including Asean and the rising economic powers of China and India, should not be ignored," he said.

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http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/contentPrint.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_1541f342-cb73c03a-1613b530-34a584f2&paging=0

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RP Ready to Chair ASEAN Ministerial Group in 2006 – Romulo
July 12, 2005
Philippine Headline News Online

The Philippines is expected to take over the ASEAN chairmanship, if Myanmar inhibits itself from chairing the ASEAN Summit in 2006.

Click here to read further : http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/hl/hl102374.htm

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Asian Monetary Fund Good Idea, Says Nobel Laureate
July 12, 2005
Malaysian National News Agency

According to the Nobel Laureate, the proposed Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) could prove to a vital source of funding to economies affected by the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis. With AMF’s existence there was no need for any single Asian economy to prepare a fund to repair the “damage” done as a result of an economic meltdown.

Click here to read further http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_business.php?id=144677

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ASEAN Promotes Opening of Services
July 6, 2005
Vietnam News Agency


The ASEAN assessed the progress made in service liberalization in the region and discussed ways to move it forward at a Forum on Trade in Services entitled “ Towards a Free Flow of Services in ASEAN” in Hanoi, on 5th July 2005.

Click here to read further: http://thanhniennews.com/print.php?catid=9&newsid=7685

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GMS Meet at Kunming
July 4-5, 2005
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China


The Heads of Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the People's Republic of China, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, met in Kunming, China for the Second GMS Summit. They were joined in their discussions by the President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Click here to read further: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/zxxx/t202381.htm

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Investment Cooperation to Advance Economic Growth in East Asia
People’s daily Online
July 3, 2005

The investment cooperation among East Asian nations is expected to be a growth area in boosting regional economic development, said experts at the 2005 East Asia Investment Forum held July 2-3 in Weihai city of east China's Shsandong province.

The forum, with the theme of "making investment cooperation a new engine in driving ahead the economic growth in East Asia", has drawn the attendance of more than 300 representatives from China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Click here to read further: http://english.people.com.cn/200507/03/eng20050703_193799.html

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Accord on vast UN-backed Asian Highway Network Enters into Force 4 July
July 1, 2005
UN News Release

The Intergovernmental Agreement on the United Nations-backed 140,000-kilometre Asian Highway Network linking the vast region from St. Petersburg to Singapore and Seoul to Istanbul comes into force on Monday, facilitating trade and tourism and opening up landlocked countries.

"The Agreement marks a major milestone in regional cooperation," the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Kim Hak-Su, said. But he also outlined the challenges ahead.

"Sixteen per cent of the roads are below the minimum standards and an estimated $18 billion is needed to upgrade and improve the Highway," he noted. ESCAP is working with the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Islamic Development Bank and other partners to help countries identify sources for investment.

The Agreement is the first treaty developed by ESCAP and deposited with the UN Secretary-General. It sets technical standards for road and route signage and includes mechanisms for amendments or additional routes. ESCAP has been negotiating routes and road specifications for the Asian Highway Network since 1992.

Twenty-seven out of the 32 participating member States have signed the Agreement. When finished, the Highway will ease border crossing for people, vehicles and goods and give the much-needed benefits to landlocked countries.

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Singapore Pact is a Step Towards India-ASEAN FTA'
The Hindu Business Line
July 1, 2005

The visiting Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, today said the stage was set for an Asian Renaissance to be achieved through strengthening India's ties with Asia, evolving a stable, open regional architecture and reaching national consensus on globalisation and economic reforms.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting hosted by India's leading chambers of commerce and industry — CII, FICCI and Assocham here, Mr Lee said, "We need to strengthen economic ties between India and other Asian countries, especially with Southeast Asia. While Southeast Asia's trade with India is growing rapidly, it is still only15 per cent of its trade with China," adding that the centrepiece of India-Asean cooperation is an FTA which would build "a strong bridge across the two regions".

Stating that the comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) signed on Wednesday by the two counties was a significant step towards an India-Asean FTA and deeper engagement between India and Southeast Asia, the Singapore premier allayed fears over cheap goods flooding the Indian market, stating that "we are also small and industrialised, our economy complements India's economy, and does not threaten India's sensitive sectors".

Click here to read further: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2005/07/01/stories/2005070103321100.htm

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