Trade, MSME focus for Asean, partners


Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will not be left behind as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) pushes for integration and closer regional ties.

Cooperation in the areas of small businesses and trade were highlighted by foreign ministers of the 10-member Asean and dialogue partners South Korea and Australia during meetings in Manila.

“In the Asean-Republic of Korea ministerial meeting, the ministers highlighted the integration on micro, small and medium enterprises into the digital economy,” Foreign Affairs department spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said in a news conference on Sunday.

As part of economic integration plans, Asean members are pursuing regulatory reforms to help the region become a digital economic bloc by 2025.

Bolivar said the ministers also expressed appreciation for the role being played by the Asean-Korea Center, which implements work programs and activities to strengthen mutual cooperation and deepen friendship among Asean members and South Korea.

At the separate Asean-Australia ministerial meeting, meanwhile, Bolivar said “the ministers expressed appreciation for Australia’s continued support through the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area Economic Cooperation Support Program.”

In line with the Asean Community Vision 2025, the agreement aims for sustainable economic growth in the region by providing a more liberal, facilitative, and transparent market and investment regimes among the twelve signatories.


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