Infoquest, (July 16, 2019) -- Ms. Onmon Subthawitham, director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations (DTN) of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), released the results of the 15th meeting of ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee (ATF-JCC) hosted by Thailand on July 10-11. The following topics were discussed on the meeting: 1. The implementation of ASEAN trade facilitation plan. 2. The implementation of ASEAN NTM guidelines. 3. The progress of the efforts in reducing internal transaction costs in ASEAN by 10 percent within 2020. 4. The progress of establishing ASEAN trade information base system. Discussion with Joint Business Council (JBC) representatives was also made.
Ms. Onmon noted that, as for the implementation of ASEAN trade facilitation plan, currently all 10 member states had prepared to implement the plan according to NTM guidelines, including: 1) Taking measures when it is necessary to do so or when there are reasonable reasons to do so. 2) The opinions of stakeholders should be solicited when measures are taken. 3) Details of measures should be publicized to ensure transparency. 4) The implementation effects of measures should be assessed. 5) These measures should be adjusted and revised regularly.
Besides, all the 10 ASEAN member states have established national trade facilitation committee, which will supervise the implementation of trade facilitation measures according to the rules of WTO.
According to the resolution of the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting 2017, efforts will be made to cut trade transaction cost (TTC) by 10 percent within 2020. ATF-JCC was confident that the objective is within reach. At this moment, the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) is working with 10 ASEAN member states to formulate indicators used to compute reduced costs of trade transaction, such as the time it takes for customs to examine and release goods, the waiting time of goods in port, and the time it takes to issue permit. It is estimated that the above-mentioned indicators will be finished within the time set by ASEAN.
As for the progress of establishing ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR) and releasing information at https://atr.asean.org/, so as to make interested people search relevant information, currently, ASEAN is updating ATR to release information about the sanitary and phytosanitary measures of 10 ASEAN member states, and adding contact channel at the website, so that interested individuals and enterprises can search information or report problems and obstacles in implementing the trade rules of government at https://assist.asean.org/, and make relevant ASEAN government departments know and address these problems, add Ms. Onmon.
At the meeting, representatives of the Joint Business Council (JBC), made up of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC), and US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), discussed issues of trade facilitation and matters concerned JBC together with ATF-JCC, such as reducing the cost of enterprises in trade transaction, addressing problems in using NTM, and the progress of ASEAN Single Window. JBC was satisfied with the progress of ASEAN's each work, and took the opportunity to propose Low Value Shipment Programme, aiming to reduce cost of enterprises and promote e-commerce in ASEAN region. ASEAN will discuss these matters together with relevant parties.
In 2018, the trade volume between Thailand and ASEAN stood at 11.3 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 13 percent. That included: Thailand exported goods 68.4 billion U.S. dollars to ASEAN and imported goods 45.4 billion U.S. dollars from ASEAN, making ASEAN the largest trading partner of Thailand, with trade proportion as high as 22.7 percent.
Source: InfoQuest, by Phana / Kasamarporn / Rachada, translated by Xinhua Silk Road
Notice: No person, organization and / or company shall disseminate or broadcast the above article on Xinhua Silk Road website without prior permission by Xinhua Silk Road.