ASEAN has completed 11 out of 16 Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) under Indonesia’s chairmanship, while five out of seven PEDs under the purview of ASEAN Economic Ministers have been completed, according to the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI).
Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz said the completed PEDs include ASEAN’s Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA).
The DEFA provides a comprehensive roadmap to empower businesses digitally by enhancing interoperability and cybersecurity to promote trade and the participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“In ensuring inclusivity, MITI has always been vocal on the interests of businesses, especially the MSMEs in ASEAN and Malaysia.
“Businesses can also benefit from the ASEAN Framework for Industrial Project-Based Initiatives, which supports the recovery of industrial and commercial sectors by promoting the growth of new production networks and resilient supply chains to enhance intra-ASEAN trade and investment,” he said.
ASEAN’s key priorities include adopting digital economy, pursuing carbon neutrality, prioritising sustainable development agenda, and enhancing supply chain resilience — measures which are key in achieving sustainable economic development for the region.
“Malaysia is confident that these PEDs will propel ASEAN towards becoming a closely integrated, unified, competitive and vibrant economic zone, while fostering digital adaptability and sustainability, ultimately benefiting the well-being and prosperity of its businesses and citizens,” said MITI.
Exporters stand to benefit
According to Tengku Zafrul, exporters will also stand to benefit from the Second Protocol to Amend the ASEAN- Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) — a prominent free trade agreement encompassing more than 650 million people, with a combined gross domestic product exceeding US$4.5 trillion.
“The Second Protocol to Amend the AANZFTA introduces three new chapters, addressing government procurement, MSMEs, as well as trade and sustainable development,” he said.
He added that Malaysia is looking forward to working closely with all ASEAN member states and partners in ensuring a more prosperous, green and equitable future.
Tengku Zafrul headed the MITI team to the Special Ministers’ Retreat Session, 23rd ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council Meeting and the 43rd ASEAN Summit, held from Sept 1-7 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Special Retreat Session focused on the Global and Regional Economic Outlook and Future Trends, the Future of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC): Post-2025.
Meanwhile, the AEC Council Meeting discussed Indonesia’s PEDs, the AEC Blueprint Implementation and the ASEAN Sustainability Agenda.
The MITI minister was also invited to speak at the ASEAN-Business Investment Forum, where he emphasised the various economic endeavours within the AEC, ASEAN’s significance in fortifying supply chain resilience during crises as well as the importance of transitioning towards a digital economy while embracing various sustainability measures. — BERNAMA