English | 中文版 |  Русский

Breaking News:

Source: www.asiaecon.org |


ASEAN and South Korea have signed a free trade agreement to boost investments between the regional grouping and the East Asian country. The agreement, signed by the trade ministers of the countries Tuesday, completes the Asian-South Korea Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation, the “mother agreement” which paved the way for three free trade agreements to be signed. ASEAN is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The purposes of the Association are “ accelerate economic growth; social progress and cultural development in the region and (2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.”

The leaders of ten Asian countries pledging a cooperation to stimulate Asia’s finances and economy by creating a bond market. It will raise a huge amount of savings that will be invested in development projects.  The agreement covers trade in goods and services. One priority of the group is expand cooperation in the energy segment. They will have a larger access of timber, rubber, oil and gas.  The organization also: “commitment to stimulate economic growth in the region and stand firm against protectionism,” according to the statement.  The agreement would also encourage and promote the flow of investments and cooperation between ASEAN and South Korea, improve transparency of investment rules and provide for the protection of investments.  The agreement incorporated a review mechanism to improve the transparency of investment rules and to discuss progressive liberalization of the investment regimes of the countries.  “We agreed to take proactive and decisive policy actions to restore market confidence and ensure continued financial stability to promote sustainable regional economic growth.”  In an end-of-summit statement, they called for the speedy implementation of a 120-billion dollar emergency currency pool agreed last month with China and Japan to help East Asian economies fight financial stress. South Korea’s finance ministry said the country sees ASEAN “as an export market which can offset sluggish markets in developed countries,” especially after the global financial crisis.  Seoul will also have better access to the region’s massive wealth in natural resources including timber, rubber, oil and gas. Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestu told AFP in an interview on Monday that her country exports 4-5 billion dollars worth of natural gas to South Korea annually.  It also buys food and fish products as well as footwear, textiles and paper and pulp from Indonesia, she said.“The investment deal aims to provide protection for investments and investors,” South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement. Last year, South Korean investments in Malaysia in the manufacturing sector amounted to US$55.5 million and US$325.2 million in 2007. Malaysian investments in South Korea, as reported by Bank Negara Malaysia, was US$16.7mil (RM55.6mil) last year, compared with US$6.9mil (RM23.7mil) the previous year.

Source: www.asiaecon.org |

More Special Articles - Asia Business & Economy Articles