The AEM+6 Working Lunch Joint Media Statement

15 August 2009, Bangkok, Thailand

  1. The Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand met and exchanged views on regional and global issues affecting the East Asian region as well as developments in several areas of cooperation within the East Asia Summit (EAS) framework.
  2. The Ministers welcomed the Phase II report on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) and agreed to submit this to the Leaders at the 4th EAS to be held in Thailand in October 2009. The Ministers also agreed to recommend to the Leaders that Senior Officials discuss and consider the recommendations in the CEPEA Study.
  3. The Ministers agreed that the Senior Officials discussions of the EAFTA and CEPEA recommendations will be undertaken together to take forward East Asia integration with due consideration of the respective maturities of existing ASEAN Plus 1 FTAs. The Ministers underscored the importance of prioritising internal integration of ASEAN as the cornerstone for East Asia integration. The Ministers agreed that the Senior Officials should undertake a step-by-step approach by commencing discussion on Rules of Origin, tariff nomenclature, customs related issues and economic cooperation as building-blocks in the process of realising East Asia integration.
  4. The Ministers welcomed the proposal from Japan to hold a workshop on rules of origin. The Ministers viewed this issue as key to promoting regional economic integration based on existing free trade arrangements in the East Asian region.
  5. The Ministers noted the research activities of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in a variety of fields such as energy, environment, trade and investment, etc. The Ministers welcomed ERIA's efforts on promoting economic growth in East Asia, focusing on such areas as facilitating sub-regional development, expanding the middle class and stimulating consumer market. The Ministers encouraged ERIA to continue working on these initiatives and make policy recommendations on specific areas that could further stimulate economic activities in the region and narrow the development gaps among the 16 countries participating in the EAS.
  6. The Ministers welcomed the progress report on the Comprehensive Asian Development Plan, which was prepared by ERIA in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ASEAN Secretariat in accordance with the Joint Press Statement of the East Asia Summit on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis. Its aim is to contribute to coordinating, expediting, upgrading and expanding sub-regional initiatives and promoting private sector participation.
  7. The Ministers reiterated their support for the Leaders' Statement at the London Summit on 2 April 2009 and reaffirmed their commitment to maintain open markets, reject all forms of protectionism in trade and investment and to rectify any such measures as promptly as possible. The Ministers agreed to cooperate towards accelerating the Doha Round negotiations with the aim of achieving an ambitious and balanced conclusion to the Round by 2010.
  8. The Ministers also reiterated their support for the early accession of Lao PDR to the WTO.

List of Ministers

  1. Hon. Simon Crean, Minister for Trade, Australia
  2. H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
  3. H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
  4. H.E. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, China
  5. H.E. Latha Reddy, Ambassador of India to Thailand
  6. H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
  7. H.E. Hiroyuki Ishige, Vice Minister, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
  8. H.E. Mr. Kim Jong-Hoon, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea
  9. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
  10. H.E. Dato' Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
  11. H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
  12. Hon. Tim Groser, Minister of Trade, New Zealand
  13. H.E. Peter B. Favila, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
  14. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
  15. H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
  16. H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
  17. H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN

Media Enquiries

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Departmental Media Liaison 02 6261 1555