Trade and Investment Facilitation

The ‘US-ASEAN Conference on Legal Issues of Regional Importance’ was held in Singapore on May 8-9, 2017. The conference was organized by the United States Department of State, The Asia Foundation and Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Singapore. 

The conference served as a venue for academic specialists, law and policy makers, print and broadcast journalists and editors from ASEAN Member States, the United States, and other countries to meet, share experiences, and engage in a thoughtful dialogue that examines and analyzes the legal dimension of several issues that are critical to the future of ASEAN. Such issues include maritime security, migration, regional trade, digital technology and cyber-security. 

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta, Director of the Trade Facilitation Department of Mekong Institute, participated in the plenary session and provided perspectives on regional trade in the context of the ASEAN Economic Community. Mr. Dutta mentioned that the ASEAN will need to boost intra-regional trade – currently valued at US$543.7 billion or 24 percent of total ASEAN trade. He emphasized that in order to achieve the benefits of the ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN will require the elimination of non-tariff barriers; the harmonization of standards, laws, and regulations across all ten member states; and the implementation of the free flow of capital and removal of discriminatory investment regulations. 

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