Thu, 26 Aug 2010

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - ASEAN economic ministers have agreed to facilitate investment inflows to the region by conducting joint investment promotion campaigns, the Indonesian Trade Ministry said.

At the 13th meeting of the ASEAN Investment Area (AIA) held in Da Nang, Vietnam, from August 24 to 27, the ASEAN economic ministers also agreed to enhance cooperation in applying good investment practices as part of efforts to attract more investments to the region, the ministry said in a press release issued on Wednesday.

Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and Chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Gita Wirjawan represent Indonesia at the four-day meeting.

The ASEAN economic ministers also agreed to improve the ASEAN investment climate by asking for inputs from the private sector, the release said.

Besides the AIA meeting, the ASEAN economic ministers also took part in the 24th meeting of the ASEAN Free Trade Arrangement (AFTA) Council which discussed the progress in the implementation of ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).

At the meeting of the AFTA Council, Indonesia was represented by Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono, Director General of International Trade at the Trade Ministry Gusmardi Bustami and Director of Regional Cooperation at the Trade Ministry Iman Pambagyo.

Since AFTA was put into force on January 1, 2010, ASEAN-6 which consists of Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand have cut their Common Effective Preferential Tariffs (CEPT) by 99.65 percent, while Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam by 98.96 percent.

ASEAN member states have agreed to cut their tariffs to 0-5 percent. The tariff reduction is an integral part of the ATIGA.

At the meeting of the AFTA Council, each of member states also agreed on the entry into force (EIF) of ATIGA with the period of transition to use certificates of origin (CO) CEPT Form D to CO ATIGA Form D for 12 months or 180 days since the entry into force of ATIGA on May 17, 2010.

As such, the member countries can accept or issue CO CEPT Form D until November 13, 2010. During the period of transition, CO CEPT Form D that have been issued will remain valid for one year according to the Operational Certification Procedure of ATIGA. (*)