Funding of Regional Asia Multi-annual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 adopted
The regional Asia Multiannual Indicative Programme 2014-2020 has been approved. It is the EU programme in support to Asia. It includes support to ASEAN regional integration, ASIA Investment Facility (AIF), and SWITCH Asia. For ASEAN an overall envelop of 170 Million euro has been earmarked. Tentative allocation of the funds is 50% or 85 million euro for connectivity, economic integration, inclusive growth and trade, 60 million euro for addressing climate change and disaster management issues, and 25 million to facilitate policy dialogue between EU and ASEAN.
The Commission Decision for funding the Enhanced Regional EU ASEAN Dialogue Initiative facility (20 million euro) is expected in a near future, following positive Development Cooperation Committee meeting in September.
Launching of COMPASS, the new EUR 7.5 million project for ASEAN integration and statistics
NAY PYI TAW, Myanmar,14 October: H.E. Daw Lei Lei Thein, Deputy Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, and Ms. Cecile Leroy, ASEAN-EU programme manager in the EU Delegation to ASEAN, officially launched COMPASS, the EU-ASEAN Capacity Building Project for Monitoring Integration Progress and Statistics. The heads of the national statistical offices of the ASEAN member states and representatives of international organisations attended the ceremony.
COMPASS will assist for four years to consolidate the achievements made by the ASEAN Community Statistical System Committee, helped by previous programme on statistics, as well as strengthen the capacity and methods for regional integration monitoring. Specific capacity building support will be provided under the programme to CLMV countries.
EU-ASEAN Business Council talks to Media
SINGAPORE, 27 October 2014: The EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) was officially presented to regional media representatives. The EU-ABC is a pan-ASEAN platform established to assist EU businesses with advocating their trade and investment interests in the region. The European Commission has welcomed its creation in 2010, followed by its subsequent enlargement under current chairman Mr. François Guibert of ST Microelectronics.. Over the coming weeks and months, EU-ABC will participate in conferences on the AEC (Malaysia) as well as the EU-Indonesia Business Dialogue in Jakarta. In 2015, EU-ABC is considering to organise an EU-ASEAN Business Summit in Malaysia, back to back with the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ meeting. For more information on the EU-ABC, membership and upcoming events, please see http://eu-asean.eu/
ARISE programme has reached full speed
Assistance to ASEAN Member States in Trade Repository Development
Workshops on ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR)/National Trade Repository(NTR)/Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) and Notification Procedures under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) were held in October, on the13th and 14th in Bangkok, andon the 20th and 21thin Vientiane, Lao PDR. The workshops aimed to provide technical knowledge to assist ASEAN Member States in their NTR development and to provide a better understanding on the substantive structure and outlay.
In Lao PDR, Deputy Director General, Department of Import and Export of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ms. Vongxay Manivone opened the workshop attended by 40 representatives from ministries and agencies. Lao PDR is advancing well towards the fulfilment of the ATIGA requirements thanks to the establishment the Lao Trade Portal (LTP). The latter was developed with technical assistance by the multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank.
In Thailand, the Executive Director of the Bureau of Trade in Goods, Department of Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, Ms. Sunanta Kangvalkulkij opened the workshop. Thailand has shown its strong commitment to comply with the ATIGA and plans to launch its NTR by the end of 2014 and its ATR by 2015.
Discussing a Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Bioequivalence
JAKARTA, 20-21 October:Since its establishment, the Pharmaceutical Products Working Group (PPWG) has been developing harmonized technical requirements for pharmaceutical products. These include the ASEAN Common Technical Dossier (ACTD) and the ASEAN Common Technical Requirements (ACTR), with the objective of eliminating technical barriers to trade. PPWG began in 2009 the implementation of a mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Inspection of Manufacturers of Medicinal Products.
The discussion in October focused on harmonisation and recognition arrangements for acceptance of Bioequivalence (BE) Study Reports, produced by Bioequivalence Centres in ASEAN. Such a scheme would avoid multiple study reports for new generic drugs prior to them being marketed, facilitating intra-ASEAN trade and development of the industry.
Establishing Safety for Electrical & Electronic Equipment in Lao PDR
VIENTIANE, 28-29 October: A national workshop on development of Safety Regulations for Electrical & Electronic Equipment was held, attracting policy makers, the prospective regulatory authority, government lawyers, and representatives of industry. The workshop discussed on how to develop Lao PDR national regulations on Electric and Electronic Equipment in a manner that serves the twin goals of consumer safety and enhancing integration with ASEAN.
The ASEAN Joint Sectoral Committee (JSC) on Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) has developed a Mutual Recognition Arrangement for this sector and is now overseeing the implementation of a harmonized regulatory regime. The ASEAN EEE Mutual Recognition Arrangement was signed in 2002 to facilitate trade of EEE products in ASEAN (providing room for participating Member States to accept test reports and certifications issued by laboratories and certification bodies from other ASEAN National Member States).
The pilot ASEAN Customs Transit System kicks off
The ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) will not only reduce complexity, cost and time to transit goods by road in ASEAN, in particular for cross-border operations, but is also expected to act as a catalyst to implement the ASEAN transport agreements and provide electronic tracking of transit cargo.
The development of a pilot ACTS to facilitate transmission of customs data among participating countries has started on the 20th October 2014 through a new specific 3 Million euro contract. The development of the system (IT application) should take 18 months, and be followed by a testing conducted in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand from April to October 2016. The Sub Working Group on ACTS (SWG-ACTS) will guide the implementation of the overall ACTS, while National ACTS Project Teams will be managing the ACTS pilot application at national level. ASEAN transport and financial sector bodies will play an equally important role in the implementation of the ACTS.
Complementary to the above work, ARISE continues to assist ASEAN in harmonizing and simplifying procedures. To this end, a two-day workshop was organized end of October to discuss core transit procedure, including those on the Declaration Acceptance, Declaration Control, Departure and Arrival Processes, and Process at Office of Transit and Destination. An important outcome of the workshop was the need to establish a structured risk management program for ACTS at departure, transit and destination.
4th Steering Committee Meeting of ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP)
YANGON, 26 September: The fourth Steering Committee meeting of the ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP) has taken place. It confirms the initial orientations given to the project but recognized as well that progress towards the development of an ASEAN Single Market were slower than expected and that stronger commitment from the ASEAN Member States were required to establish a level playing field in particular in the field of aviation safety.
Two activities in the third quarter of 2014 are noteworthy:
– the draft of an ASEAN Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA), presented in Hanoi in July 2014; and
– the discussion of scenarios under an ASEAN Air Traffic Management structure (KL, August 2014).
The AATIP helps the region to establish a Single Aviation Market. This is to be achieved through the development of an integrated civil air transport system, by strengthening institutions and by enforcing high regulatory standards for a safe and secure interconnected aviation. The European Union is interested to follow up with an EU-ASEAN air transport agreement when the groundwork has been laid.