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Asean agrees to push integration beyond AEC launch

ASEAN permanent secretaries have agreed to continue promoting Asean trade and economic integration even after the full realisation of the |Asean Economic Community next year. The "Asean Miracle and AEC plus 2015" plan came out of the recent 25th Asean senior officials meeting in Yangon.

Srirat Rastapana, permanent secretary of the Thai Commerce Ministry, said |yesterday that the plan will be proposed to the Asean Economic Ministers meeting in August.

It will continue to promote closer ties in all aspects, including trade, services, investment, trade competitiveness, economic development and logistics linkages.

The Economic Research Institute for Asean and East Asia has drafted four key |proposals for post-2015 |Asean:

lContinue reducing and eliminating non-tariff barriers and increase trade facilitation.

lIncrease competitiveness for Asean investors by focusing on innovation, technology |and human-resources development.

lStrengthen cooperation in food security, energy, disaster management and the development of SMEs.

lEnhance Asean's role on the global stage and amend each country's laws and regulations to be more effective and up-to-date.


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