ASEAN economic ministers to discuss cooperation on June 21-22

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Bangkok – Thailand will host the 34th ASEAN Summit from June 20 to 23 in Bangkok. Delegates will discuss regional economic partnership and issues that need to be implemented within this year.

The Director-General of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Auramon Supthaweethum, said the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) will be held June 21 and 22 to discuss the bloc’s efforts to push forward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), as its objectives are scheduled to be accomplished before the end of this year.

In the afternoon of June 22, leaders of the ASEAN member states and representatives of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) will discuss various tasks that have to be carried in 2019. The issues will cover workers’ skill development, the readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the enhancement of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and mechanisms to facilitate trade in the region.

The theme of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship of 2019 is “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”. The theme focuses on 13 economic issues, such as plans to support digital technology, innovation and human resources. The theme also focuses on regional connectivity by implementing the ASEAN Single Window in all 10 member states and food tourism.

The trade value between Thailand and other ASEAN member states exceeded 100 billion US dollars last year, or 10.4% higher year-on-year. Thai exports to the ASEAN member countries amounted to 59 billion US dollars, while the value of Thai imports from other countries in the bloc was 41 billion US dollars.