Economic representatives from ASEAN member states have convened a meeting to discuss measures to mitigate the potential impact that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict could have on the region’s economies.
Thai Vice Commerce Minister Sansern Samalapa said participants also pressed all 15 signatories of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement to expeditiously ratify and implement the pact.
According to Sansern, the 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Retreat on March 16, which Cambodia chaired, agreed that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would have a limited impact on ASEAN, given the bloc’s relatively minimal direct trade with both countries. Additionally, participants urged Russia and Ukraine to quickly resolve the conflict in order to avoid long-term impact on the global economy.
Thailand also proposed that ASEAN economies collaborate to mitigate the war’s impact on the region’s energy supplies.
Additionally, the representatives signed a memorandum of understanding specifying that ASEAN members will not impose export restrictions on essential goods until November 2024. The ministers also discussed ASEAN’s readiness to transition to a digital society and the development of measures to address the economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thailand’s trade with other ASEAN economies reached US$110.7 billion in 2021, an increase of 17.1 percent over the same period the year before. Thai exports totaled $65 billion in 2021, compared to $45.7 billion in imports.(NNT)