Vietnam News Agency | 28 August 2008
ASEAN pledges to ratify FTA with Japan soon
Hanoi, Aug 28 (VNA) — Economic ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on August 26 pledged to work for the speedy ratification of an economic partnership agreement with Japan that is expected to take effect before the end of this year.
The ministers said in a joint statement issued after their annual meeting in Singapore that they resolved to ratify the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Japan ’s first FTA with a regional bloc, as soon as possible.
A senior Philippine official was quoted by Kyodo news as saying that the pact will come into force on October 1, based on the fact that the agreement will be activated on the first day of the second month after Japan and at least one of the 10 ASEAN members completes domestic procedures to ratify it.
It was endorsed by the Japanese parliament in June. Singapore has also ratified it.
The accord with ASEAN is not only an FTA for goods but also covers services and investment. It will enable Japanese companies that are expanding their markets in Southeast Asia to cut trade costs.
ASEAN groups Brunei , Cambodia , Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , Myanmar , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam.