The ASEAN summit and related meetings are being held on November 10-14 in Angeles City and Manila in the Philippines.
MANILA (Sputnik) – Hong Kong and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Sunday concluded on the sidelines of the 31st ASEAN summit a free trade deal and an investment agreement, a Sputnik correspondent reported.
“This will open more opportunities for ASEAN as we ensure greater market access for our products and sustained flow of foreign direct investments,” Ramon Lopez, secretary of the Philippine government’s Department of Trade and Industry, who chairs the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) meeting this year, said.
Lopez added that these agreements would provide job opportunities for people and enhance collaboration among businesses, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
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The free trade deal with Hong Kong is ASEAN’s sixth agreement of such kind with external partners, following the conclusion of such deals with Australia and New Zealand, China, India, Japan, and South Korea.
The ASEAN is one of the major regional organizations. It is aimed at boosting economic growth, social and cultural regional development, as well as ensuring peace and security in the region, and smooth cooperation between the Southeast Asian countries. The bloc includes 10 member states, namely, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
According to the latest statistics, ASEAN’s total trade amounts to $2.3 trillion.