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ASEAN and China Further Liberalises Trade in Services

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

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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).

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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.

Trade

Thailand to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Commerce Ministry has launched measures to increase rice exports to 6 million tons this year, valued at around 150 billion baht, with Indonesia, China, Bangladesh and Iraq set to be the main markets under government-to-government (G2G) deals.

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Singapore

UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

Singapore’s role as a hub for UK companies, whether as exporters or investors accessing Southeast Asia’s and broader Asian dynamic economies, was elevated by the new UK-Singapore trade agreement (UKSTA) which came into effect on 1st January 2021.

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UK exporters’ use of Singapore as ASEAN’s supply chain gateway boosted by new bilateral trade agreement

There was much controversy, before and after the United Kingdom’s (UK) Brexit from the European Union (EU), in talk of it adopting a free trade and manufacturing model similar to Singapore’s.

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Economics

Cross-border trade is expected to grow up to 3-6%

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s cross-border trade is expected to recover to growth of 3-6% this year, helped by COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the global economic recovery.

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Foreign Trade Department Director-General Keerati Rushchano said cross-border trade, which includes transit trade, is likely to generate 1.36 to 1.40 trillion baht, up from 1.31 trillion baht in 2020.

According to Mr Keerati, the key risk factor that may derail border trade growth is the political chaos in Myanmar that will weaken purchasing power there and cause a delay in goods transport.

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