International

ASEAN promotes development of automobile sector

VNA
ASEAN economic ministers will sign a pact on mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) for automobiles and parts as well as the improvement of protocols for dispute settlement mechanisms in September.

An automobile assembly plant of Ford in Hai Duong province (Photo: AFP)

An automobile assembly plant of Ford in Hai Duong province (Photo: AFP)

Director-general of the Thai Ministry of Commerce’s Trade Negotiations Department Auramon Supthaweethum told press that the third senior economic official meeting (SEOM) held from July 14-18 in Bangkok agreed to propose the two important documents at the meeting in Bangkok in the next two months.

Through MRAs, products that are tested and certified before export can enter the importing country directly without having to undergo similar conformity assessment procedures in the destination.

Earlier, the ASEAN SEOM in Vientiane on April 4-5 approved MRAs for automotive products among ten countries of the bloc after seven years of negotiations. Once taking into effect, the pact will help reduce production costs and facilitate automotive imports and exports among the members.

The MRA will cover automotive products such as braking systems, safety belts, seats, tyres, steering systems, speedometers and safety glass.

According to Auramon, the second document covers the improvement of protocol on dispute settlement mechanisms. It will update ASEAN’s dispute settlement mechanism to come in line with the changing environment and the World Trade Organisations dispute settlement principles.

ASEAN is the biggest trade partner of Thailand, with two-way trade totaling US$114 billion, up 13 percent from the same time last year.

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