Commerce Ministry: ASEAN is bracing itself for AEC with FTAs

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BANGKOK, 23 February 2012  – According to the Ministry of Commerce, the regional organization of ASEAN is set on creating economic allies and expanding trade and investment opportunities through Free Trade Agreements (FTA) in an effort to brace itself for the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Department of Trade Negotiations Director-General Srirat Rastapana explained that ASEAN currently holds FTAs with China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Australia-New Zealand. She added that in the future, meetings, such as ASEAN-GCC, ASEAN-MERCOSUR, ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6, will be continued in order to establish economic alliances as well as increase trade and investment opportunities for ASEAN entrepreneurs to further expand their market and investment.

On the bilateral level, the country has already concluded FTAs with Australia, Japan and New Zealand, while still negotiating the finalization of cooperation with Chile, India and Peru.

Touching on the Thai private sector, Mrs. Srirat pointed out that entrepreneurs must adjust themselves to the idea that, in the future, their market will not only be limited within the country; however, they must recognize the markets of the 10 ASEAN countries as one, before attempting to take their business to the inter-regional and global markets.