Bangkok, Thailand, 21 January 2020
Almost 60 government officials and private sector representatives, i.e., business or trade associations, chambers of commerce, and business councils from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), gathered to discuss, in an informal setting, on increased private sector engagement in ASEAN and state-of-play of ASEAN Trade Facilitation initiatives, i.e., the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR), the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST), and the e-Platform for Consultations with the Private Sector, as well as issues related to the implementation of the so-called ASEAN Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) Guidelines, particularly on advance notifications (Principle 3 of the NTMs Guidelines) and Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) of NTMs (Principles 1 and 5 thereof).
The roundtable discussion was organized by the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) Plus Project with funding from the European Union and jointly supported by the ASEAN Trade Facilitation Joint Consultative Committee (ATF-JCC), the Department of Trade Negotiations of the Ministry of Commerce, Thailand, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), the European Union Delegation in Thailand, and the ASEAN Secretariat.
A live online simulation of the new e-Platform for Consultations with the Private Sector (e-Platform) was presented to show how this new tool operates. New features and enhancements of the ATR and ASSIST tools were also introduced. Government representatives from relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies also discussed the proposed initiatives for 2020 on further effective ways to implement the NTMs Guidelines, especially Principle 1 (Necessity and Proportionality), Principle 3 (Transparency), and Principle 5 (Periodic Review) in a closed door session. In particular, discussions were held on the advance notifications of NTMs by AMSs; ways for AMSs to cross-notify other AMSs on proposed draft NTMs; the publication of proposed and adopted NTMs on the AMSs NTRs and linked to the ATR; and the ex-ante and ex-post Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) of NTMs.
Welcoming remarks were delivered by Mr. Paul Mandl, Team Leader, ARISE Plus; and Mrs. Isabelle De Stobbeleir, Counsellor, Economic and Trade Section, European Union Delegation in Thailand.