Tuesday, 24 April 2012


            Development of ASEAN Economic Zone (AEC) started to shift to Consumer Protection (CP) issue. A leaflet concerning complaints of consumers in ASEAN will be published. ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) provides hotline services at the national level of each country. The leaflet will provide an input in order to continuously increase awareness about CP in ASEAN and outside ASEAN. The CP issue was once discussed in a meeting attended by more than 500 economic leaders of ASEAN and European Union (EU) in Phnom Penh. This attempt is a commitment to protect consumers in Southeast Asia region. PK is closely related to trading business sector because fair and ethical practices in trade transactions are also part of the interest of ASEAN.

        The 2nd ASEAN-European Union Business Summit (AEBS) also discussed about other sectors related to business and trade in both regions. The meeting followed-up the model of involvement of private sectors in ASEAN who held business-to-business (B2B), government-to-government (G2G) and business-to-government (B2G) dialogs. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary General of ASEAN, in his welcome speech, urged about the need for the development of economic involvement in both regions, Europe and Southeast Asia (ASEAN). The business community must be able to find a loophole for the development and expansion of the economic cooperation. EU Trade Commissioner, Karel De Gucht, said that 90 percent of economic growth in the world will occur outside European border. The largest proportion is in Asia, and Europe sees AEBS as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation in some core sectors. Besides agribusiness, AEBS emphasized on the need for cooperation in manufacturing, services, and connectivity infrastructure sectors. Agribusiness sector mainly consists of food and beverage processing. While, infrastructure sector consists of logistics and trade facilities. Service sector consists of finance, insurance, and information technology.

         Even though economic crisis occurs in almost all countries EU is the second biggest partner after China. Portion of EU-ASEAN cooperation comprises around 10.2 percent of total trade in ASEAN in 2010. A more comprehensive trade data shows that EU is ASEAN’s biggest export market in 2010 or 10.7 percent of total export of countries in Southeast Asian region. EU is continuously attempting to be the main source of ASEAN in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010 which value reaches USD 17 billions or 23 percent of total FDI in ASEAN.

         Concerning sect oral recommendation, Cambodia’s Trade Minister, Cham Prasidh, who is also chairman of the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting sees that involvement of the private sector is very important. ASEAN pays mush attention to the interest and involvement of private sectors in moving toward ASEAN economic zone. Economic ministers of ten ASEAN member countries invited the private sectors to meet with officials to participate in the discussions concerning customs, connectivity infrastructure, and information technology issue.

        The AEBS ended in B2G session which opened a unique opportunity for private sectors to interact with ASEAN economic ministers and EU Trade Commissioner. The most important recommendation is that the private sector covers various fields and reduction of non-tariff regulations, standard harmonization and suitability of services with trade, connectivity infrastructure of ASEAN funding access to small and medium businesses (SMB) and other.

          The 2nd AEBS was arranged from April 1 to 2, 2012 by the Cambodian government, Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, EUROCHAM (EU), and ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC).    

Business News - April 9, 2012

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