I haven’t posted recently, as I’ve been on a family vacation to Hanoi and Halong Bay in Vietnam. Also, most ASEAN watchers were focused on tomorrow’s elections in Myanmar and this weekend’s ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh and corresponding ASEAN Council meetings. I’ll have more on both developments in next week’s posts, in between a Utrecht-Airlangga ASEAN law conference I am attending in Surabaya. In the meantime, here is a summary of other developments affecting the ASEAN Economic Community:
- The EU is hoping to announce completion of FTA talks with Singapore, either at the ASEAN Summit or shortly thereafter. These were supposed to have been completed by last October, but the talks hit a snag. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht also announced the start of FTA talks with Vietnam. Senior EU officials are participating in an EU-ASEAN business forum on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
- Indonesia and Korea announced the initiation of FTA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in Korean terms) talks.
- The US and ASEAN announced a three-year project to facilitate the trade of food commodities in ASEAN.
- . The center aims to promote legal cooperation between ASEAN and China.
- ASEAN finance and central bank officials agreed to double the size of the Chiang Mai initiative to US$ 240 billion. This would enable ASEAN members to tap up to 40% of their quota, without having to have a parallel package from the IMF. They also agreed to formalize the legal status of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office set up to support the Initiative.