Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce Jurin Laksanawisit was quoted by local media as saying on September 9 that ASEAN countries and China have agreed to work together in the framework of the ASEAN-China free trade agreement in three areas, which are negotiations for the opening of more markets, updates to regulations regarding products’ Rules of Origin and free investment zones.
At the meeting, Thailand asked China to provide CNY130 million for the implementation of several projects designed to stimulate economic growth in the ASEAN, such as the R3A road connecting Bangkok in Thailand and Kunming in China, developing new-generation entrepreneurs and developing online commerce in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand.
China is the leading trade partner of ASEAN, with bilateral trade reaching US$479 billion in 2018, accounting for 17 percent of ASEAN’s international trade value.
The AEM 51 and related meetings took place from September 3-10 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the participation of economic officials from the 10 member countries of ASEAN and partner countries.
Within the framework of the AEM 51, a series of related meetings were also held, including the 33rd ASEAN Free Trade Area Council Meeting, the 22nd ASEAN Economic Ministers-ASEAN Investment Area (AEM-AIA) Council Meeting, consultations between ASEAN and its partner countries, and the 7th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting.