Task force on Asean economic integration to meet in Jakarta

By Ma. Elisa P. Osorio, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 28 2011 10:20 AM | Updated as of Jul 28 2011 06:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The ASEAN High Level Task Force on ASEAN Economic Integration (HLTF-EI) will meet in Jakarta, Indonesia this week to discuss ongoing efforts to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported yesterday.

Among the issues to be discussed are the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) scorecard, regulatory reforms, and the evolving regional architecture in the region based on ASEAN commitments in free trade agreements.

By 2015, the AEC envisions a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region with equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.

In a statement, DTI explained that strengthening ASEAN means benefits to our economy in terms of increased access to markets such as New Zealand, Australia, China, Japan, India, and Korea.

The Philippines’ current preferential trade agreements through ASEAN include China, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and India.

The process of achieving the planned AEC by 2015 is on track and that the Philippines joins hands with other ASEAN member states in working out measures that will deliver high-impact results towards integration into one ASEAN Economic Community.

The HLTF meeting also aims to review the regional integration targets and for members to share their best practices in regulatory reforms.

The HLTF-EI is composed of high-ranking trade officials from the 10 ASEAN economies and functions primarily as an advisory body to the economic ministers of the ASEAN member states. Its primary responsibility is to ensure that the different ASEAN economies are on-track and on-time with the plans and programs intended to achieve the vision of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.