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.
activities are aimed at achieving sustained economic growth and
improving living standards of countries in the region.
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.
here to read further: http://thestar.com.my/services/printerfriendly.asp?file=/2005/7/29/business/11627935.asp&sec=business
on track to achieve zero-tariff goals, but challenges remain
Daily Express, Sabah, Malaysia
21 July, 2005
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
trade officials said the 10-member group was working its way through
the difficulties of implementing the proposed Asean Free Trade Area
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
here to read further :
shift `needed to avoid crisis'
19 July 2005
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.
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
Thanong further said economic integration in Asia, particularly
among the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(Asean), has been lacklustre.
here to read further: http://www.bangkokpost.com/News/19Jul2005_news15.php
to propel regional economy
July 19, 2005
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
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."
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.
here to read further : http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-07/19/content_3236918.htm
exchange-traded funds soon
The Edge Daily
Jul 18, 2005
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.
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.”
here to read further: http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/contentPrint.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_2919c15f-cb73c03a-18782a70-d33d3d12&paging=0
PM: EU yet to fully uncover Asean's
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.
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.
here to read further :
Ready to Chair ASEAN Ministerial Group in 2006 – Romulo
July 12, 2005
Philippine Headline News Online
Philippines is expected to take over the ASEAN chairmanship, if
Myanmar inhibits itself from chairing the ASEAN Summit in 2006.
here to read further : http://www.newsflash.org/2004/02/hl/hl102374.htm
Monetary Fund Good Idea, Says Nobel Laureate
Malaysian National News Agency
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.
here to read further http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_business.php?id=144677
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.
here to read further: http://thanhniennews.com/print.php?catid=9&newsid=7685
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
here to read further:
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).
here to read further: http://english.people.com.cn/200507/03/eng20050703_193799.html
on vast UN-backed Asian Highway Network Enters into Force 4 July
UN News Release
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
here to read further: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2005/07/01/stories/2005070103321100.htm