ASEAN Economic Community forum set in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/15 May) – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is making the necessary preparations for the conduct of a forum on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in this city on May 27.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is composed of the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Dr. Sitti Amina Jain, DTI Regional Officer-in-Charge, said the preparation is being undertaken by her office since they have been designated as the chair of the AEC Task Force.

Jain said the forum will be held under the auspices of the Task Force on ASEAN Integration of the Regional Development Council-9 (RDC-9).

She said the objective of the forum is to raise the level of awareness about the AEC and “its implications to our economy both at the regional and national levels.”

Jain said the resource speakers would come from the DTI central office and would include Assistant Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo, who will talk on the topic “Advancing Philippine Engagement in AEC: The Philippine Status of Commitments.”

Senen Perlada, director of the DTI’s Bureau of Export Trade Promotion, will discuss “ASEAN Integration: An Overview, and the Philippine Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).”

Jain said that speakers from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), namely, Dr. Erlinda Medalla and Dr. Adoracion Navarro, will discuss the topics “Achieving AEC 2015: Trade Liberalization and Facilitation,” and “Infrastructure and Logistics: Moving Toward AEC 2015,” respectively.

Trade and Industry Undersecretary for the Regional Operations Group Zenaida Cuizon-Maglaya had been invited to give the keynote message during the forum, according to Jain.

She said that all local chief executives in the region had been invited to attend the forum.

Also invited are the region’s business and industry leaders, regional and provincial heads of national government agencies, the academe, non-government organizations, members of the press, and consumer organizations.

Jain, quoting a passage in the ASEAN Economic Community Factbook, said that AEC 2015, in a nutshell, is the aspiration of the ASEAN 10-member states for regional economic integration by the year 2015.

Jain said the AEC will have the following key features: a single market and production base; a highly competitive economic region; a region of equitable economic development; and a region fully integrated into the global economy.