New Zealand Embassy Manila, The Philippines

ASEAN-CER Integration Partnership Forum to be held in Manila

New Zealand's Trade Minister Tim Groser today welcomed the second ASEAN-CER Integration Partnership Forum, scheduled to take place in Manila, the Philippines, on 19 May.

“New Zealand and Australia have been working towards a Single Economic Market across the Tasman for over thirty years,” Mr Groser says. 

“Southeast Asia has an ambitious timetable to create the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.  

“Even though we are different in many ways, Australia, New Zealand, and the countries of ASEAN have experiences to share.  There is no monopoly on good ideas,” Mr Groser says.

The Philippine Government will host the Forum, and the keynote speaker will be the Chief Economist from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.   New Zealand and Australian speakers will include senior figures from government, business and academia.

“The seminar will focus on trade in services.  In the coming century, services trade will be the engine that drives the global economy, and Asia will be the world’s economic powerhouse.  So this is a vital area for ASEAN.

“Governments have an important job to do to make the environment for business more predictable and less burdensome, at home and abroad.  We have done that with CER – and created a springboard to other markets. 

“ASEAN has enormous potential to do the same.  A dynamic, fully integrated Southeast Asia is good for ASEAN and good for New Zealand and Australia,” Mr Groser says.
The initiative complements the landmark ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA (AANZFTA) concluded in 2009.

“When we signed that FTA, we were acknowledging that regional economic integration is the best way to deliver sustained economic growth.  This is a practical way to swap ideas on how to take the next steps towards wider economic integration most effectively,” says Mr Groser.

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