Further strengthening co-operation and expanding trade relations, ASEAN and China signed at the sidelines of the ASEAN-China Summit the Protocol to Implement the Second Package of Commitments under the Agreement of Trade in Services of the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation between the Governments of ASEAN Member States and the People’s Republic of China also known as the ASEAN-China Trade in Services Agreement (AC-TIS).

The Protocol further liberalises trade in services among the ten ASEAN Member States and China with substantial improvement in their level of commitments on trade in services. The Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr Surin Pitsuwan said that the signing of the Protocol will further boost trade and investment between ASEAN and China.

Under the new Protocol, the eleven Parties expanded the sectoral coverage of their commitments beyond those that they committed under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) and the first package of AC-TIS as well as further liberalise the level of restrictions or remove discriminatory measures in those commitments.

The Agreement on Trade in Services between ASEAN and China signed in 2007 provided for substantial improvement of the commitments on trade in services. The Agreement also provides for progressive liberalisation at successive rounds of negotiations to negotiate further packages of commitments.

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