Se­cu­rity, in­te­gra­tion top ASEAN di­a­logue con­cerns

Business World - - THE ECONOMY - — Ar­jay L. Bal­in­bin, An­drea Louise E. San Juan and Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

THE fol­low­ing are the out­comes of the As­so­ci­a­tion of South­east Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) di­a­logues with its global part­ners at the 31st ASEAN Sum­mit:

HONG KONG: Signed the ASEAN-Hong Kong Free Trade Agree­ment ( AHKFTA) and the ASEAN- Hong Kong In­vest­ment Agree­ment (AHKIA). The two agree­ments are part of the re­gion’s ef­fort to ex­pand trade op­por­tu­ni­ties for the ASEAN Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity ( AEC). Host coun­try the Philip­pines said the agree­ments pro­vide more op­por­tu­ni­ties for mi­cro, small, and medium en­ter­prises (MSMEs) as well as to the coun­try’s ex­porters.

CHINA: The ASEAN- China di­a­logue pro­duced joint state­ments on anti-cor­rup­tion co­op­er­a­tion, tourism co­op­er­a­tion, and in­fra­struc­ture con­nec­tiv­ity. Both sides also agreed to pro­ceed with ne­go­ti­a­tions for a Code of Con­duct in the South China Sea af­ter con­clud­ing a Frame­work Agree­ment on a Code of Con­duct.

UNITED STATES: Pres­i­dent Don­ald J. Trump high­lighted Washington’s com­mit­ment to part­ner­ship with ASEAN, which he called a ve­hi­cle for ad­vanc­ing the se­cu­rity and pros­per­ity of the US and the Indo-Pa­cific na­tions.

SOUTH KOREA: The ASEAN-South Korea meet­ing pro­duced a re­port on the progress of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the

ASEAN- Repub­lic of Korea Plan of Ac­tion to im­ple­ment the joint dec­la­ra­tion on strate­gic part­ner­ship for peace and pros­per­ity ( 2016- 2020). ASEAN lead­ers ex­pressed a de­sire for fur­ther trade, in­clud­ing lib­er­al­iza­tion be­tween ASEAN and South Korea.

The two sides also ex­pressed grave con­cern over the lat­est de­vel­op­ments on the Korean penin­sula and called for peace­ful de­nu­cle­ariza­tion and the early re­sump­tion of six-party talks.

JA­PAN: Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe ex­pressed a de­sire to deepen co­op­er­a­tion with the ASEAN in mar­itime se­cu­rity, de­fense, trade, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, fight­ing ter­ror­ism, dis­as­ter risk re­duc­tion and cul­tural ex­changes. Mr. Abe pledged to sup­port ASEAN in up­grad­ing the qual­ity of its in­fra­struc­ture, in­dus­try, and hu­man re­sources.

Ja­pan will also con­tinue to ex­pe­dite the Yen Loan Project, and it ex­pressed a de­sire for the early con­clu­sion of a Ja­pan-ASEAN Tech­ni­cal Co­op­er­a­tion Agree­ment agreed upon at the Ja­pan-ASEAN For­eign Min­is­ters’ Meet­ing in Au­gust. Ja­pan com­mit­ted to pro­vide ¥55 bil­lion in the next three years for the pur­pose of en­hanc­ing mar­itime law en­force­ment ca­pac­ity.

EUROPEAN UNION: The European Union ( EU) of­fered anti-ter­ror co­op­er­a­tion through in­for­ma­tion shar­ing via In­ter­pol and Europol and the ex­change of best prac­tices in deal­ing with vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism.

In June, ASEAN rep­re­sen­ta­tives vis­ited the head­quar­ters of the EU’s anti-smug­gling naval mis­sion, Op­er­a­tion Sophia, which tar­gets peo­ple smug­glers and traf­fick­ing net­works in the Mediter­ranean. The EU ex­pressed will­ing­ness to share its ex­per­tise in fight­ing piracy, il­le­gal and un­reg­u­lated fish­ing or any other type of transna­tional crim­i­nal­ity at sea. ASEAN PLUS THREE

(APT): ASEAN reaf­firmed its in­tent to fur­ther co­op­er­a­tion with Ja­pan, South Korea, and China dur­ing their 20th com­mem­o­ra­tive sum­mit on Tues­day, Nov. 14. Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo R. Duterte, chair­man of the 31st ASEAN Sum­mit, urged his fel­low ASEAN lead­ers and three di­a­logue part­ners to con­tinue nur­tur­ing peace­ful co-ex­is­tence within the re­gion.

Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe mean­while un­der­scored the sig­nif­i­cance of in­creased fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion within the ASEAN Plus Three.

Mr. Abe said fi­nan­cial co­op­er­a­tion will en­hance pre­dictabil­ity and mit­i­gate vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in re­gional mar­kets, and strengthen free trade.

Mr. Abe also backed APT co­op­er­a­tion on Food Se­cu­rity which was pro­posed by China, and adopted dur­ing the sum­mit.

“In­ci­den­tally, it has been over six years since the Great East­ern Ja­pan earth­quake. I strongly re­quest that in­put con­trols on Ja­panese food stuffs be lifted based on sci­en­tific grounds,” Mr. Abe added.

Ja­panese food exports such as milk, fruit and veg­eta­bles have been banned in some coun­tries due to con­cerns these prod­ucts may have been con­tam­i­nated by ra­di­a­tion from the Fukushima nu­clear power plant

Premier Li Ke­qiang said Beijing sup­ports re­gional in­te­gra­tion and the ad­vance­ment of the East Asia Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity, not­ing that the world econ­omy is still re­cov­er­ing from the 2007-2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis and global trade and in­vest­ment has been grow­ing.

“China-Ja­pan and China-ROK re­la­tions are [also] see­ing signs of im­prove­ment. All these have pre­sented new op­por­tu­ni­ties for APT Co­op­er­a­tion,” he added.

“I hope that through this Sum­mit, we can build con­sen­sus and send a pos­i­tive sig­nal that we firmly sup­port re­gional in­te­gra­tion and ad­vance East Asia Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity or EAEC so as to ben­e­fit the peo­ple and the coun­try in the re­gion.”

Pres­i­dent Moon Jae- in said the col­lec­tive ex­pe­ri­ence of the re­gion in over­com­ing fi­nan­cial crises “re­mains a valu­able her­itage to us. Now, we must take our­selves to a new level to re­al­ize a co­op­er­a­tive mech­a­nism that pro­vides pro­tec­tion and care to the lives of our mem­bers in the re­gion.”

“In 1999, we have uti­lized the power of sol­i­dar­ity and over­came the fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Let us cre­ate a vi­sion for the East Asian com­mu­nity of peace, pros­per­ity, and progress. I look for­ward to reaf­firm­ing re­fin­ing the vi­sions of the East Asian com­mu­nity and our re­solve for co­op­er­a­tion within,” Mr. Moon said.

CANADA: Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau ex­pressed his in­tent to broaden his coun­try’s part­ner­ship with the ASEAN in chart­ing a path to­wards sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment and pros­per­ity, not­ing that ASEAN has been in­stru­men­tal to the lib­er­al­iza­tion of trade and the es­tab­lish­ment of fair, rules-based international sys­tems for the past 50 years. Canada plans to join the East Asia Sum­mit and the ASEAN De­fense Min­is­ters’ Meet­ing Plus “at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity.”

Canada like­wise com­mit­ted to help ASEAN in achiev­ing safer and more se­cure com­mu­ni­ties by ad­dress­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian is­sues and re­gional ten­sions, cit­ing its in­ter­ven­tions in ad­dress­ing the plight of the Mus­lim mi­nor­ity in Myan­mar as well as its stance against the North Korean mis­sile tests.

UNITED NA­TIONS: The UN said it sup­ports mea­sures to counter ter­ror­ism and pre­vent vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism, and pro­posed a ded­i­cated UN Of­fice of Counter-Ter­ror­ism. It wel­comed the adop­tion of the Manila Dec­la­ra­tion to Counter the Rise of Rad­i­cal­iza­tion and Vi­o­lent Ex­trem­ism, and its recog­ni­tion of the im­por­tance of com­pre­hen­sive ap­proaches and pre­ven­tive ac­tion. It also high­lighted its readi­ness and will­ing­ness to pro­vide tech­ni­cal sup­port to ASEAN and its mem­ber coun­tries in their ef­forts to counter ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism, and to com­bat transna­tional crime, in­clud­ing drug traf­fick­ing and peo­ple traf­fick­ing, through poli­cies able to pro­tect their cit­i­zens with ef­fec­tive law en­force­ment and re­spect for hu­man rights.

IN­DIA: In­dia ex­pressed its sup­port for im­prov­ing ASEAN’s rules-based re­gional se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture, which it linked to the re­gion’s peace­ful de­vel­op­ment. In­dia urged ASEAN and its part­ners to jointly ad­dress se­cu­rity chal­lenges in the re­gion by in­ten­si­fy­ing co­op­er­a­tion.

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