Dec 16, 2008
Singapore - The economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Tuesday signed three trade agreements in Singapore.
Ministers from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, and Singapore, and the ASEAN secretary-general attended the event, the Singapore Trade and Industry Ministry said.
This was a landmark occasion for ASEAN, sealing key work towards achieving the first pillar of the ASEAN Economic Community,' the statement said, referring to the goal of a single market and production base in the bloc.
The pacts aim to liberalize the flow of goods and services among member states, reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers and provide protection for investors.
'The signing of these agreements signals ASEAN Member States' dedication towards economic integration, a significant step at a time when ensuring the economic stability and vibrancy of the region is crucial,' Singapore Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said.
The ASEAN economic ministers who were not able to attend would sign in their respective capitals where the agreements would be brought to them.