ASEAN Secretariat News

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ASEAN and Australia to Strengthen Comprehensive Partnership

on Monday, 29 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 29 September 2014 - ASEAN and Australia reaffirmed their shared commitment to further strengthen their comprehensive partnership at the 4th ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee (AAJCC) Meeting on 25 September at ASEAN Secretariat. During the meeting, they discussed preparations for ASEAN-Australia Commemorative Summit to be held on 12 November in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, to mark the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Australia Dialogue Relations as an opportunity to elevate the mature ties to a higher level.

“2014 is a banner year for ASEAN-Australia relations even as we hold this AAJCC on the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of our relations. Indeed, a number of activities have been undertaken to mark the long and mutually beneficial friendship that ASEAN and Australia have been according each other,” said H.E. Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN. “2014 is also the year we completed the successor document to our Plan of Action which was adopted by our Ministers at the Post Ministerial Conference with Australia in August in Nay Pyi Taw. We remember fondly, of course, the landmark visit to Australia of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, where we met with no less than Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb,” Ambassador Buensuceso added.


ASEAN Civil Service Heads Map Out Priorities for Post-2015 Cooperation

on Monday, 29 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

YANGON, 29 September 2014 - The ASEAN Heads of Civil Service met on 26 September in Yangon, Myanmar to share information on national strategies and good practices in promoting good governance towards fulfilling people’s aspirations and welfare in light of the theme set by the Union Civil Service Board of Myanmar, Chair for 2013-2014. They also discussed the post-2015 priority areas of cooperation.

Those priorities are intended to respond to the current and emerging challenges and opportunities for civil service sector in the ongoing ASEAN Community building. Among others, the increasing demands for quality public services should be addressed through the promotion of responsive, accountable, effective and efficient public service sector.  Enhancing workforce competencies, building institutional capacity, and strengthening leadership were considered as priority areas that remain relevant in future.


ASEAN Member States Discuss Design and Formulation of Competition Policy and Law

on Friday, 26 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

BALI, 26 September 2014 - Members of the ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) met in Bali on 24-25 September to discuss the process and substantive issues of formulating an effective Competition Policy and Law (CPL).

“Dynamic global changes have taken place. ASEAN subsequently has two extreme choices: to become a global factory by creating a highly competitive production and investment environment or to become a global mall, noting the expanding export of consumption products from around the world to ASEAN region. To be competitive, progress has to be made in dealing with the competition law and policy in the region,” said Mr. Muhammad Nawir Messi, Chairman of the Commission for the Supervision of Business Competition (KPPU) of Indonesia and host of the workshop, in his opening remarks.


ASEAN Holds Customs Risk Management Workshop in Preparation for AEC

on Friday, 26 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 26 September 2014 - The decision to create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 is intended to facilitate the free flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labour in the region, and the freer flow of capital.  An essential feature of the AEC is a harmonised Customs environment which operates through common law, procedures, processes, documents and techniques.  

A key success factor is the promotion of operational cooperation between Customs administrations in enforcing regulations so that acceptable levels of compliance are achieved. 


ASEAN Regional Conference Promotes Funding Access for Women Entrepreneurs and Better SME Development

on Thursday, 25 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

HA NOI, 25 September 2014 – Often considered as the backbone of ASEAN economies, many small and medium enterprises (SMEsare still facing challenges in their start-up, development and expansion to international market. Women entrepreneurs in the region face even more constraints ranging from lack of access to funds to only being able to access them at less favorable terms; for example, at higher interest rates, higher share of required collateral for loans, or shorter terms or loan repayment.

two-day regional conference addressing those issues kicked off yesterday in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. Around 150 participants took part in the conference, which began with a review of an academic paper on SME funding mechanisms by Prof. William J. Scheela, an American finance expert from Bemidji State University; and Dr. Janti Gunawan, an international business partnership consultant from Indonesia. The conference included presentations from public and private sector representatives from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines and Viet Nam as well as representatives from international organisations such as GIZ, the International Labour Organization, the International Finance Corporation, and USAID.


ASEAN Parliamentarians Commit to Stronger Cooperation in ASEAN Community Building Process

on Tuesday, 23 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

VIENTIANE, 23 September 2014 - Taking on the theme “Strengthening Parliamentary Cooperation in the ASEAN Community Building,” the 35th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) was held on 15-19 September in the capital of Lao PDR. It was attended by six Speakers and four Deputy-Speakers of AIPA Member Parliaments, Chairs of Committees of the respective parliaments, and eight Observer Parliaments from Australia, Belarus, People’s Republic of China, India, Japan, Russia, Republic of Korea, and Timor Leste.

H.E. Pany Yathotou, President of the National Assembly of Lao PDR, and President of the 35th AIPA, presided over the General Assembly. In her welcome remarks, she underlined that this year’s theme is pursuant to the current environment where all ASEAN Member States are expediting their efforts towards the establishment of an ASEAN Community to ensure the maximum benefit of the peoples of ASEAN. She further recognised the improvement of coordination between ASEAN and AIPA through the interface between ASEAN Leaders and AIPA, the participation of the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat in AIPA activities, as well as information sharing between ASEAN and AIPA.

Lao National Accreditation Bureau Undergoes Training to Enhance Capabilities

on Friday, 19 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

VIENTIANE, 19 September 2014 - A specialized training took place in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 15-17 September  to enhance capabilities of the Lao National Accreditation Board (LNAB) staff. The course focused on management of accreditation bodies and conformity assessment in line with ASEAN’s goal of strengthening accreditation services in the CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Mynamar, and Viet Nam) countries. 

ASEAN Launches Narcotics Cooperation Centre in Bangkok

on Friday, 19 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

BANGKOK, 19 September 2014 - The ASEAN Narcotics Cooperation Centre (ASEAN-NARCO) was officially launched in Bangkok on 15 September to further drive regional efforts in pursuing ASEAN Drug Free 2015. To act as a coordinating platform for ASEAN Member States in working together on drug related cases, ASEAN NARCO is now focusing on drug law enforcement and expected to cover other areas of drug control in the future.

In his remarks at the Opening Ceremony of ASEAN-NARCO, H.E. General Paiboon Kumchaya, the Minister of Justice of Thailand emphasised the importance of the establishment of ASEAN-NARCO as a good forum to enhance cooperation and information sharing on drug control matters among ASEAN Member States as well as between ASEAN and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. General Kumchaya also mentioned that, “As ASEAN has declared its intention and goal to become drug-free in 2015, ASEAN must succeed in reducing drug trafficking, crop harvesting, and infiltration of narcotics.”


ASEAN and China Hold 11th Expo to Enhance Trade

on Thursday, 18 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

NANNING, 18 September 2014 – The opening ceremony of the 11th China – ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China – ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) was  held on 16 September in the City of Nanning, Guangxi Province, China, with the theme “Jointly Build Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century.”

This year’s opening ceremony was graced by the First-ranked Vice Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, H.E Mr. Zhang Gaoli and Prime Minister H. E Lee Hsien Loong representing Singapore as this year’s Country of Honor. In his keynote speech, H.E. Zhang Gaoli emphasized the cultural heritage that ASEAN and China share.


ASEAN SMEs Reaffirm 2025 Vision

on Wednesday, 17 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 17 September 2014 - Key representatives from small and medium enterprise (SME) policy makers, ASEAN Small and Medium Enterprise Working Group (SMEWG), thinktanks, dialogue partners and multilateral organisations gathered at the ASEAN Secretariat on 12 September to exchange views, good practices and deliberate on the vision, mission and strategic goals for the Post-2015 Strategic Action Plan for SME Development (2016-2025) or SAP SMED.  

Building upon the policy workshop, participants reaffirmed the vision thatby 2025, ASEAN SMEs shall be globally competitive, resilient, and innovative which can seamlessly integrate into the ASEAN community and beyond for sustainable growth and equitable development in the region.”To achieve the 10-year vision, five areas of strategic goal were formulated namely: (i) enabling regulatory and institutional framework; (ii) enhancing access to finance; (iii) enhancing market access and internationalisation; (iv) strengthening entrepreneurial education and human capital development; and (v) promoting productivity, technology and innovation. 


Working Visit of the Secretary-General of ASEAN to the United Kingdom

on Sunday, 14 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

LONDON, 14 September 2014 - The Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Le Luong Minh made a working visit to London from 11-12 September in conjunction with the ASEAN Day events in London.
During the visit, SG Minh delivered a keynote speech at the ASEAN Insights Conference and an ASEAN Day message at the ASEAN Day reception, organised by Asia House in collaboration with the ASEAN-London Committee (ALC). SG Minh also held discussions with Lord Ian Livingston, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, UK, the ALC comprising ASEAN High Commissioners and Ambassadors to the UK, and Sir John Boyd, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Asia House together with representatives from the businesses, academia and think tanks.

ASEAN Formulates a Post-2015 Vision and Strategic Action Plan on Competition

on Thursday, 11 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

JAKARTA, 11 September 2014 - The ASEAN Experts Group on Competition (AEGC) gathered at the ASEAN Secretariat from 9-10 September to deliberate a post-2015 vision, with new targets and a regional plan of action on competition for the period 2016-2025. The envisaged establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of 2015 will mark an important milestone on ASEAN’s way towards deeper regional economic integration and community-building. The Brainstorming Meeting was convened in compliance with the directives of the ASEAN High-Level Task Force on Economic Integration (HLTF-EI) to develop a strategic framework towards 2025.

The AEC Blueprint 2009-2015 foresees the introduction of competition policy in all Member States by 2015. By end of 2015, it is expected that a comprehensive competition law will be in place in least 7 Member States.


ASEAN and Japan Review Cooperation Progress

on Friday, 05 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

TOKYO, 5 September 2014 - The 29th ASEAN-Japan Forum was convened on 3-4 September 2014 in Tokyo to review ASEAN-Japan cooperation focusing on the progress of follow-up to the outcomes of the 16th ASEAN-Japan Summit and the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in 2013. In particular, the Meeting discussed ways to effectively implement the Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and its Implementation Plan, which aims to build four pillars of ASEAN-Japan Partnership, namely Partners for Peace and Stability, Partners for Prosperity, Partners for Quality of Life and Heart-to-Heart Partners. ASEAN and Japan would make full use of the existing resources, including the ASEAN-Japan Integration Fund 2.0, to support the realisation of these objectives.

On Partnership for Peace and Stability, the Meeting discussed ways to enhance cooperation on various areas such as non-proliferation and disarmament, counter-terrorism, cyber-crimes, maritime security, human rights, peace-keeping and peace-building. The Meeting stressed the need to strengthen ASEAN-Japan cooperation on addressing emerging trans-boundary challenges, such as transnational crimes, and looked forward to the adoption of a Joint Declaration for cooperation in the fight against terrorism and transnational crimes at the upcoming 17th ASEAN-Japan Summit in November.


ASEAN Directors-General of Immigration Enhance Efforts towards ASEAN Community

on Friday, 05 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, 5 September 2014 - The annual meeting of ASEAN Immigration Departments and the Consular Affairs Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs was held on 1-4 September in Brunei Darussalam to share valuable insights and experiences over issues of common interest and concerns in the progression of realising the ASEAN Community goals.

His Honorable Pehin Udana Khatib Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Badaruddin bin Pengarah Dato Paduka Haji Othman, Minister of Home Affairs, Brunei Darussalam officiated the Opening Ceremony of the 18th Directors-General of Immigration and Heads of Consular Divisions of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (DGICM) and delivered his remarks. He emphasized on the need to continue the implementation of work progress and enhance DGICM effort collaboratively in information sharing, promoting the usage of technology, capacity building and combating transnational crimes towards the realization of ASEAN Community. The 18th DGICM was convened back-to-back with the 10th DGICM- Australia Consultation and the 10th ASEAN Immigration Intelligence Forum (AIIF).


Business Summit Highlights ASEAN-US Economic Ties, Small Business Growth in the Region

on Wednesday, 03 September 2014. Posted in 2014, ASEAN Secretariat News

NAY PYI TAW, 3 September 2014 – Economic Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), high-level United States Government representatives, and business leaders from ASEAN and the United States gathered last week at the ASEAN-US Business Summit in Nay Pyi Taw to discuss regional policies to support small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development.

Small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of the ASEAN economy, accounting for over 96% of all enterprises and for between 50 – 95% of all employment in many ASEAN Member States. With markets and trade increasingly shaped by global value chains, small and large businesses seek to form fruitful partnerships that will support their growth in regional and global markets.