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ASEAN Summit to boost trade and investment

Source:Plastics News Asia

Date Published:11/13/2017 07:11:49 PM

Leaders from 21 countries gather in the Philippines to discuss the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
Leaders from 20 countries from the ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia, United States (US), Canada, European Union (EU), and the United Nations Secretary General gathered in Manila for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, which opened on November 13.  Preparatory meetings at the levels of Ministers and Senior Officials took place earlier on November 10-12 in Clark, Pampanga and in Manila. This is the second of the two ASEAN Summits that the Philippines is hosting this year. 
Under the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte chairs the plenary of the 31st ASEAN Summit, where ASEAN Leaders will discuss the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the way forward and the appointment of the new Secretary-General of ASEAN. The event will also serve as venue to exchange views on pressing regional and international issues.
The Phillippine President also chaired ASEAN’s 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summits with the United States of America, Canada and the European Union; 20th ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit; the 20th ASEAN-China Summit, 19th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit; 20th ASEAN-Japan Summit; 12th East Asia Summit; 15th ASEAN-India Summit; and the 9th ASEAN-UN Summit. These meetings aimreview and take a look at the future direction of cooperation within these mechanisms.
The ASEAN Leaders are also scheduled to have an interface with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) while the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Leaders will have an interface with the East Asia Business Council. The ASEAN Leaders, along with the Leaders of Australia, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, will have Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Leaders’ Summit. The ASEAN Secretary-General will also attend the Summit.
The ASEAN Leaders is slated to sign the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, a landmark document that further seeks to strengthen social protection, access to justice, humane and fair treatment, and access to health services for the migrant workers of Southeast Asia.
At the Closing Ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits on November 15, the Philippines will hand over the Chairmanship of ASEAN to Singapore, the incoming Chair for 2018. 
ASEAN Summit
Enhancing trade and business relations 
The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Leaders’ Interface with the East Asia Business Council meeting on November 13 at the Philippine International Convention Center was attended by three business leaders from each ASEAN member countries and the Plus Three Countries (People’s Republic of China, Japan, and Republic of Korea) appointed by their respective Economic Ministers.
The Interface provides an avenue for the ASEAN Plus Three Heads of State/Government to highlight the significance of private sector partnership during the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN and the ASEAN Plus Three Summit on their 50th and 20th anniversary, respectively.
During the event, the EABC led by Thailand, as 2017 Chair, briefed the Leaders on EABC’s activities and recommendations. Discussions in the interface focused on two topics: (1) Injecting business voice into the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP); and (2) Facilitating e-Commerce development in East Asia: Bottlenecks in e-Commerce utilisation and review of best practices in the region.
This event was a follow up to the interface with APT Leaders held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia during the 18th APT Summit on 21 November 2015. 
The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), composed of three CEOs/Presidents of private companies per ASEAN Member State, had an interface with ASEAN Leaders Mr. Jose Ma. A. Concepcion III from the Philippines, the 2017 Chair of ASEAN-BAC and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, led the private sector.
The Report of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to the ASEAN Leaders delivered during the interface focused on inclusive business under its recurrent theme of Prosperity for All through the empowerment of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the promotion of women and youth entrepreneurship, agriculture, business mentoring and the recommendations of the ASEAN private sector for the consideration of the Leaders. 
The report highlights the importance of digital economy to the ordinary entrepreneurs who make up 95% of the total business in the ASEAN region. The interface recognizes the special role of the private sector in helping push forward the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agenda for freer trade relations and more intra-ASEAN investments and the viability of making MSMEs as the main engine of growth in the region. ASEAN BAC also aims to promote shared prosperity in the region through the 3 Ms: Mentorship, Money and Market


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