Special update on 30th ASEAN Summit

Published on 5 May 2017

Summit Theme

The 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila on 29 April 2017 under the Chairmanship of the Republic of the Philippines had the theme of “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World,” which envisions an integrated, peaceful, stable and resilient ASEAN Community.

Priorities of Philippines Chairmanship

The Philippines has selected six thematic priorities to implement for its year as ASEAN Chair:

  1. A people-oriented and people-centered ASEAN;
  2. Peace and stability in the region;
  3. Maritime security and cooperation;
  4. Inclusive, innovation-led growth;
  5. ASEAN’s resiliency; and
  6. ASEAN: a model of regionalism, a global player.

Outcome of Summits

  1. ASEAN Declaration on the Role of the Civil Service as a Catalyst for Achieving the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Update on ASEAN Community Building

ASEAN Community Vision 2025

  1. The ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will be implemented in a mutually-reinforcing manner to build a truly inclusive and people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN Community for the benefit of our peoples.

  2. The New Format of the ASEAN+1 Summits and Post Ministerial Conferences (PMCs) will be done in 2017, with the view of providing more scope for interactive discussion among the Leaders and Ministers, and facilitating effective and efficient time-management.

Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs

  1. ASEAN will continue implementing and addressing the recommendations of the High Level Task Force (HLTF) on Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs within the targeted timelines

Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI)

  1. Progress was made in the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020) since its adoption in September 2016. Through the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III, ASEAN is committed to assist Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) in meeting their regionwide targets.

ASEAN Connectivity

  1. ACCC and relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies strengthened the implementation arrangements, including the monitoring and evaluation mechanism, for the MPAC 2025.
    (a) ASEAN Coordinating Council (ACC) adopted the respective Terms of Reference (TORs) for the ACCC, National Coordinators (NCs), National Focal Points (NFPs) and Lead Implementing Body for Sustainable Infrastructure.

  2. There will be a Workshop/Forum on MPAC 2025 Initiatives and Project Concepts to develop project ideas for the MPAC 2025, and the Eighth ASEAN Connectivity Symposium with a theme to focus on monitoring and evaluation of the MPAC 2025.

ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) and the Committee of Permanent

  1. Representatives to ASEAN (CPR), as directed by ASEAN Ministers, are considering factual updates and revisions of certain articles of the ASEAN Charter.

ASEAN's 50th Anniversary

  1. ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat are preparing various activities to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN including the Grand Celebration of ASEAN's Golden Anniversary on 8 August 2017.

ASEAN Leaders' Interface with AIPA

  1. Summit had a productive interface with the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA). AIPA plays an integral role in ensuring that the regional agreements are carried out and implemented at the national level so that the benefits of integration are felt by our peoples in the region.

Economic Performance

  1. In 2016, ASEAN’s combined GDP stood at USD2.55 trillion while real GDP grew at 4.7% amidst increasingly challenging global conditions.
  2. Despite external headwinds, ASEAN economic outlook is projected to remain resilient at 4.8% in 2017, supported by solid growth of private consumption and investment as well as expansionary fiscal policy.
  3. ASEAN’s merchandise trade performance, remained resilient at USD1.06 trillion in the first half of 2016 of which 24.02% was intra-ASEAN.
  4. Total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the region remained resilient at USD52.94 billion in the first half of 2016 of which 23.36% was intra-ASEAN.

Progress of ASEAN Economic Community 2025

  1. AEC 2025 Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (CSAP) was adopted by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the AEC Council, which serves as a single reference of key action lines drawn from the AEC sectoral work plans for the implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

  2. AEC 2025 CSAP has been made available to the public and will be periodically reviewed to ensure its relevance.

  3. Efforts are being made to operationalise the AEC 2025 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework, with support from the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS). The framework serves as a key reference for institutionalising and implementing monitoring and evaluation mechanisms in the AEC to help ensure timely and effective implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

  4. The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Electronic Commerce (ACCEC) was established and it will support implementation of this important element in the AEC Blueprint 2025.

  5. ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) adopted and the ASEAN Economic Community Council (AECC) endorsed the ASEAN Work Plan on Good Regulatory Practice (2016-2025) and the adoption of the Strategic Action Plan 2016-2025 for ASEAN Taxation Cooperation by the ASEAN Finance Ministers.

  6. World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation came into force on 22 February 2017, which creates a new momentum for ASEAN to further enhance trade facilitation regimes in line with international best practices.

  7. AEM set a target at the 23rd AEM Retreat in March 2017 to reduce 10% of trade transaction costs by 2020.

  8. At the 21st ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Meeting (AFMM) and the 3rd ASEAN Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ Meeting (AFMGM) Indonesia and Malaysia signed an agreement and negotiations between Malaysia and the Philippines were completed under the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework.

  9. Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand signed agreements on the settlement of trade in domestic currencies to promote the use of local currency in facilitating intra-ASEAN trade and investment.

  10. Progress was made on the ratification of the Protocols to implement the Sixth and Seventh Packages of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services and this will be followed by the signing of the Eighth Protocol in 2018, in line with the vision of progressive financial services liberalisation.

  11. A stronger focus on MSME development will translate into pro-active steps in line with the Strategic Goals incorporated in the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAPSMED 2025) towards promoting ASEAN branding for MSMEs and enhancing the ecosystem for MSME development, competitiveness allowing them to take advantage of domestic, regional and global market opportunities and have increased access to financing.

  12. ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) as the apex private sector body for successfully organised the “Prosperity for All” Summit, which brought together key institutional and professional enablers to collaborate and champion the cause of MSME empowerment towards inclusive growth across ASEAN.

  13. The ASEAN Women Entrepreneurs Network (AWEN) and the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WBCP) brought together women leaders and prominent business leaders from the region at their “Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) Ahead in ASEAN,” held on 16-17 March 2017 in Manila.

  14. The ASEAN Regional Capacity Building Roadmap for Competition Policy and Law (2017-2020) was developed as part of on-going efforts to build and strengthen the necessary capacities for effective enforcement of competition law in ASEAN.

  15. The ASEAN IP Portal (https://www.aseanip.org/) has been updated and provides a consolidated platform to access IP information, including the databases on trademarks, geographical indications and case law.

  16. There was an increase in the use of the ASEAN Patent Examination Cooperation (ASPEC) platform, with work-sharing requests having doubled since its launch in 2012.

  17. Progress was made in the realisation of the ASEAN RO-RO shipping network, particularly the maiden voyage of the ASEAN Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) Sea Linkage Route between Davao–General Santos (the Philippines) Bitung (Indonesia), which was launched on 30 April 2017 in Davao City, Philippines and is among the economic priority deliverables under the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship for multimodal transport.

  18. The Framework of Cooperation on certification of competency for Near Coastal Voyages (NCV) issued by ASEAN Member States was adopted and it aims to address the issue of disparities in areas of trading limits and syllabus requirements between ASEAN Member States on NCV certificates.

  19. The ASEAN Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) Policy Framework 2.0 was adopted to maximise road network efficiency capacity as well as to improve traffic flow.

  20. Progress was made in the implementation of the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) Pilot to further enhance cross-border trade in three participating ASEAN Member States – namely Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

  21. The Brunei Darussalam Declaration on Connected Innovative Community by the ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers Meeting (TELMIN) was adopted and it will advance ASEAN’s vision of establishing an innovative and inclusive community

  22. There ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection was adopted, and the in-principle support of the ASEAN Cybersecurity Cooperation Strategy was made to support cybersecurity efforts.

  23. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers implemented the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025 with a view to sustaining the sector’s development as well as to contributing to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, including sustainable tourism development through the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Awards.

  24. The Implementation Plan by the ASEAN Science and Technology Ministers was adopted to operationalise the adopted ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025.

  25. Progress was made in the ASEAN cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry, particularly the harmonisation of agricultural standards to facilitate ASEAN trade of the agricultural products as well as to improve quality assurance, enhance quality of products, and minimise hazards in food safety and environmental impacts.

  26. The Intra-ASEAN Phytosanitary Guidelines for mango and corn and the ASEAN Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP) for Animal Welfare and Environmental Sustainability were endorsed by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) in October 2016.

  27. Progress was made in the implementation of the ASEAN Integrated Food Security (AIFS) Framework and the Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Food Security (SPA-FS) 2015-2020, particularly the development of the Matrix of Key Areas of Cooperation and Joint Activities for ASEAN Multi-Sectoral Cooperation on Food Security and Nutrition to enhance the cross-sectoral coordination in ensuring supply of sufficient, affordable, safe and nutritious food.

  28. Agreement on the Establishment of ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Animal Health and Zoonoses (ACCAHZ) was signed in October 2016 for the purpose of facilitating and providing a framework of cooperation and coordination among ASEAN Member States, with relevant ASEAN Dialogue Partners, Development Partners and other stakeholders to enhance the prevention, control and eradication of transboundary animal and zoonotic diseases in ASEAN.

  29. Efforts were being made to enhance the ASEAN Plus One Free Trade Agreements (FTA). Progress was made in the negotiations of the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China FTA towards the targeted conclusion within the year. Additionally, there was a launch of formal region-to-region talks on a framework setting out the parameters of a future Free Trade Agreement between ASEAN and the European Union.

  30. Progress was made in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations. Ministers and negotiators have been told to redouble efforts building on the good momentum achieved thus far and reiterated our call to uphold ASEAN Centrality in finding resolutions to outstanding issues. ASEAN reiterated its commitment to work together in a cooperative manner in line with the Guiding Principles and Objectives for Negotiating the RCEP towards the swift conclusion of the RCEP negotiations.

  31. There was a strengthening of ASEAN economic cooperation with Dialogue Partners through the renewed ASEAN-Japan 10-Year Strategic Economic Partnership Roadmap, the implementation of U.S.-ASEAN Connect, the 2016-2020 Work Plan to implement the ASEAN Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment, the Post-2015 ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Work Programme, and the 2017-2018 ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme.

  32. The Resolution on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforest adopted by the European Parliament on 4 April 2017 discriminates against oil palm cultivation by singling it out as being the largest contributor to deforestation, to the detriment of the palm oil industries in the region. The Summit urged the European Union to recognise the certification of the Sustainable Palm Oil Schemes in the countries concerned which is a manifestation of ASEAN’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.