Economic ministers, senior trade officials now in Manila for ASEAN meet

MANILA-- Economic ministers and senior trade officials of 10 member states of ASEAN are now in Manila for the 23rd ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) Retreat and Related Meetings from March 8 to 10.

On Wednesday, ASEAN has kicked off the Senior Economic Officials' Meeting (SEOM) in preparation for the 23rd AEM Retreat.

The SEOM was lead by Philippines' Trade Assistant Secretary Anna Maria Rosario Robeniol and ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin.

During discussions, senior trade officials have refined the agenda for Thursday's AEM Retreat, which include increasing trade and investment, integrating micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into the global value chain, and creating an innovation-driven business environment in the region.

These agenda support one of the thematic priorities for this year's ASEAN summit -- pushing for inclusive, innovation-led growth.

Trade officials that joined ASEAN Secretariat's Lim and Philippines' Robeniol in this day's SEOM were Lao PDR's Ministry of Industry and Commerce Deputy Director General Sayakone Saysana, Malaysia's Ministry of International Trade and Industry Deputy Secretary General Datuk Isham Ishak, Myanmar's Ministry of Finance Director General Htun Zaw Deputy, Thailand's Department of Trade of Negotiations Deputy Director General Ronnarong Phoolpipat, Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade Deputy Director General Nguyen Thi Quynh Nga, Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry Director Sulaimah Mahmood, Brunei Darussalam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Assistant Director Narussa'adah Muraharram, Cambodia's Ministry of Commerce Deputy Director General Prasith Suon, and Indonesia's Ministry of Trade Director Donna Gultom.

This evening, AEM Chairman and Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez will welcome ASEAN delegates in a working dinner.

On Friday, the region's top trade officials will be meeting high-level delegation from the European Union led by its Trade Commissioner Cecilia MalmstrAlm for the 15th AEM-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations.

Source: Philippines News Agency