Implementation News

ASEAN commits to free trade, economic integration

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) committed to free trade and economic integration on Friday, as protectionism takes hold in the US and the UK.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Southeast Asia met in Cebu against the backdrop of US President Donald Trump's "America First" policy, and the United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union.

ASEAN member countries vowed to implement plans for financial integration, which it strengthened by endorsing key performance indicators, according to a joint statement.

To achieve a freer flow of capital, ASEAN member states will gradually remove restrictions, enhance monitoring and policy dialogue, and develop a capital account liberalization learning roadmap, the statement said.

Agreements among Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand on the settlement of trade in domestic currencies will hopefully promote the use of local currency to facilitate trade and investment among member states, it said.

Pending agreements among central banks will gradually ease all states into integrating their banking systems, it said.

Member states will hopefully remain steadfast, as there may be increased volatility in economies, due to the normalization of policy rates, it said.

Apr 7, 2017


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