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Economic Community

ASEAN leaders vow to tackle non-tariff barriers: Malaysian PM

Xinhua | Tue,2015-04-28

ASEAN leaders have agreed to tackle non-tariff barriers in order to further boost free movement of goods and services, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said here on Monday.

The prime minister made the remarks in a press conference after chairing the plenary session of the 26th ASEAN Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center here on Monday.

Prime Minister Najib said ASEAN hopes that there will be freer trade of goods and services, saying "We must accelerate programs to harmonize standards, increasing capital market and financial integration, and promote the seamless movement of goods, services, investments and professionals between our countries."

Najib said earlier removing barriers to trade, needs not only to reduce tariffs, but also to eliminate non-tariff barriers, such as overly burdensome regulations that hamper free and fair trade.

Malaysia, as chairmanship of ASEAN this year, will focus on the priority measures and initiatives for the realization of ASEAN Community in 2015 and will ensure the integration process to continue progressively beyond 2015, ASEAN Secretariat said on Monday.

In light of the anticipated official launch of regional integration this year, the establishment of ASEAN Community by December 2015 will be on top of the leaders' agenda for this summit. In addition, they are expected to discuss the ASEAN Community's Post-2015 Vision which is being formulated in consultation with various stakeholders in the region.

ASEAN was established in 1967 by five founding nations, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Later, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Cambodia joined making up what is now the 10 member states. The summit is the ASEAN's highest policy-making body and the chairmanship is rotated alphabetically among the member states every year.  Enditem