48 registered participants from the Malaysian private sector, among others, representatives from the ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (AWEN) Malaysia, the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs Malaysia (NAWEM), Women Entrepreneur Network Association Malaysia (WENA), International Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM), Pertubuhan IKRAM Malaysia, SME business owners including tech SMEs and start-ups, academia, law offices, consulting firms and many other trade associations and business organizations in Malaysia, attended an outreach event on the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR, available at https://atr.asean.org) and the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST, available at https://assist.asean.org/) on 23 May 2022. The event was organized by the EU-funded programme ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the European Union (ARISE Plus), in partnership and collaboration with AWEN Malaysia, the focal organisation of AWEN in Malaysia, and held virtually.
ARISE Plus is convening a series of outreach and training events across the region. The “ATR and ASSIST Outreach Event” for the Malaysian private sector was the seventh of these series. The objective of the ATR and ASSIST Outreach Events is to create greater awareness on the existence, functioning and trade facilitation benefits of the two primary trade facilitation instruments developed by ASEAN with support from ARISE Plus, known as ASSIST (for Trade in Goods and Trade in Services) and the ATR. This is deemed critical to showcase ASEAN’s increasing regulatory transparency in relation to trade in goods and build on it greater intra-ASEAN trade and trading opportunities. When the ATR is unable to address problems on the ground through transparency, ASSIST is then the primary and most cost-efficient tool of trade facilitation offered by ASEAN to address trade irritants and to identify solutions.
Welcoming remarks were delivered by Mr. Timo Goosmann, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Malaysia; Mr. Paul Mandl, Team Leader of ARISE Plus, and Ms. Nadira Yusoff, President of AWEN Malaysia.
This Outreach Event was followed by the ‘ASSIST Train-the-Trainers Workshop’ on 25-26 May 2022. This training workshop is designed to benefit and help participants to develop, organize and deliver training modules on how to use ASSIST. Participants of the training workshop are expected to become trainers and conduct future capacity building exercises on ASSIST to the benefit of their Malaysian colleagues, members of their trade associations/business organizations, and fellow entrepreneurs.
The ARISE Plus Regional Project and the EU remain committed to supporting the effective implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) through improved transparency and trade facilitation, by assisting ASEAN to advance the development of the ATR in all ASEAN Member States. The ARISE Plus Regional Project will also remain available to work with the private sector to advance ASSIST by holding regular outreach and awareness creation events and training-of-trainers, supporting ASEAN to achieve greater intra-ASEAN trade and regional economic integration.