KOTA BHARU – The Association of South-East Asian Nations’ (Asean) move to remove non-tariff barriers among members is positive as the countries involved progressively find a common platform to resolve the problem.
Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Chua Tee Yong, said even though the members faced problems yet they kept engage with each other to find solutions.
“So we need to find a commom platform if we want to resolve this problem. All this while progress has been positive and that’s the reason why we have been able to work together even to sign free trade agreement with China.
“That shows the common unity that we have in terms of finding the solution,” he told reporters after launching Asean Border Trade Exhibition here today.
Also present were Thailand’s Deputy Minister of Commerce Winichai Chamenchang, Malaysian Ambassador to Thailand Datuk Nazirah Hussain and Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia External Trade Development Corp, Datuk Dzulkifli Mahmud.
Chua said Asean was different from European Union (EU) as it focussed on a consensus among the countries involved.
“EU is governed by one central agency but for us it is more on consensus-building, and that’s the reason why the grouping has been able to grow progressively.
Meanwhile, Winichai said, Asean, which was trying to reduce as many non-tariff barriers as possible, has set up a committee to look at each country’s particular problem.
The three-day exhibition, started yesterday, brought together 46 foreign buyers from Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore and 100 registered sellers from Malaysia.
It also expects some 322 meetings between buyers and sellers. – BERNAMA