Australia and New Zealand support ASEAN to maximise the benefits of regional economic integration
On 8-9 April, around 30 senior policy officers and industry representatives from ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand gathered at an investment policy workshop entitled Facilitating Implementation and Business Utilization of ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The workshop took place under the umbrella of the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Work Program (ECWP).
“Australia is pleased to support the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Work Program, which provides technical assistance and capacity building to developing ASEAN countries in their implementation of the AANZFTA”, said Ms Nadia Krivetz, Counsellor, Australian Embassy Vietnam, who spoke at the workshop. “This particular workshop supports moves towards a more open, predictable and transparent investment regime, a key to enhancing ASEAN’s competitiveness for foreign investment and stimulating investment within ASEAN.”
“Activities under the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Work Program also complement the work of ASEAN countries towards establishing the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of this year”, added Mr Robbie Taylor, Deputy Head of Mission, New Zealand Embassy.
A number of ECWP activities are being undertaken in eight broad areas, linked to different aspects of the AANZFTA: rules of origin; sanitary and phytosanitary measures; standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures; customs; services; investment; intellectual property; and competition policy.
For Vietnam, in addition to a range of joint regional benefits, the ECWP recently assisted with the production of training modules on AANZFTA Rules of Origin in Vietnamese language; capacity building for intellectual property officers to conduct substantive patent examination; and strengthening the investigation skills of Vietnam Competition Agency officials. An investment policy review for Vietnam supported by the program is also underway and will be completed in 2015.
Australia, New Zealand and Viet Nam are all also engaged in the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations. Both processes will provide a basis for more open trade and investment in the region and form possible pathways to a free trade area of the Asia–Pacific.
For more information, please contact: Mr Tran Nam Anh, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 04-37740211.