KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 (Xinhua) The systematic economic integration within ASEAN, together with the region's enhanced engagements with its dialogue partners, is expected to lead the region on the sustained economic recovery and growth in 2010, according to a report released Monday by Malaysia government.
The establishment of ASEAN Free Trade Area as well as the implementation of ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and other free trade agreements will also boost intra-ASEAN trade and investment flows, Malaysian International Trade and Industry (MITI) said.
In its 2009 report released here on Monday, MITI said that the business community in the region must understand how the free trade area and agreements work in order to reap benefits from the arrangements.
Since January 2010, six ASEAN countries comprising Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have become a free trade area, whereby duties on all products flowing among these countries in the inclusion list were eliminated.
ASEAN has undertaken various efforts to simplify clearance of goods at the border and increase intra-ASEAN trade.
A work plan has also been drawn up to implement self- certification on the rules of origin by early 2012.
MITI said that Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand were committed to removing all non-tariff barriers by 2010, while the Philippines by 2011 and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam by 2018 in order to boost intra-regional trade.
Although faced with the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009, MITI said that ASEAN had remained steadfast in its commitment to achieve the vision of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.
In 2009, ASEAN total trade in goods dropped by 10.5 percent to 1,521.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 from 1,711.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2008.