Constant Non-Tariff Measures Change A Challenge To Asean’s Integration

KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 – ASEAN’s integration to become a single economic community is facing the challenge of constantly changing non-tariff measures and non-tariff barriers, Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.

He said unlike tariff measures which were quite stable, non-tariff measures were very dymanic and always changing.

“There are now about 6,000 cases (of non-tariff measures and barriers) in ASEAN and the number keeps changing,” he told reporters after launching the region’s think tank group, ASEAN Circle, here today.

Also present were International Trade and Industry Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia Chairman and Chief Executive Tan Sri Rastam Mohd Isa.

Mustapa said efforts were underway to establish a scorecard on non-tariff measures and non-tariff barriers reduction in ASEAN, led by Malaysia and spearheaded by his ministry.

“Work has started but is at a very preliminary stage. We need to get buy-ins from other countries and members of the public,” he said.

The ASEAN Circle is an initiative by ISIS Malaysia with the ministries overlooking the three core pillars of ASEAN to establish a discussion group comprising notable figures from public and private sector, media, academia and captains of industries.

Its objective is to enhance the overall understanding and awareness of the ASEAN Community among Malaysians.

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