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ASEAN and WTO, AFTA and FTAs

ASEAN and WTO, AFTA and FTAs

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ASEAN and WTO, AFTA and FTAs

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  1. ASEAN and WTO, AFTA and FTAs Summary of Discussions 4 October 2005

  2. Outline of summary • Status-ASEAN and AFTA-ASEAN and WTO-ASEAN and FTAs • Issues and Concerns • Proposals to ASEAN • Homework for civil society

  3. Status: ASEAN and AFTA • AFTA established in 1993 • Goal was the complete abolition of tariffs for the ASEAN-6 by 2010 and 2015 for newer members. • Reaching its goal

  4. Status : ASEAN and WTO • Original 6 ASEAN members are members of WTO • Newest member is Cambodia from ASEAN, Vietnam accession hopefully by 2005, Lao PDR applying • Involvement in disputes and as respondents: Indonesia, Malaysia, Phils, Singapore, Thailand • NOT A TRADING BLOC, BUT DISCUSS WTO NEGOTIATIONS DURING COUNCIL MEETINGS FOR EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION AND IDEAS

  5. Status : ASEAN and WTO • Not known to carry common positions except group push for DG Supachai • ASEAN members in other WTO nego blocks- Cairns, G20, G33

  6. Status: ASEAN and FTAs • ASEAN-Japan CEPT (by 2012) • ASEAN China by (2015) • ASEAN India by (2011) • EU-ASEAN • US Enterprise for ASEAN Initiative • Bilaterals : by Singapore,Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, PHILS, Vietnam ( not FTA) with US, NZ, Japan, Australia

  7. Status: ASEAN andBITs/BIAs • ASEAN-10 Japan China and Korea signed 475 BITs • Power of TNCs – can sue governments; but to be sued --thru international tribunal or ad hoc arbitration

  8. Issues and concerns • Is ASEAN relevant as a grouping?No strong identification and articulation of regional interest -still relevant-but presence not yet felt in WTO negotiations

  9. Issues and concern • Less intra ASEAN trade • Absence of wide ranging participation from CS, including business sector • AoA framework has caused the widespread collapse of rural economies in a number of countries, displacing communities and increasing forced internal and external migration.

  10. Issues and concerns • Re : migrants ---more on to improve the efficacy of immigration control, and hardly discussing the protection of migrant workers’ rights ---doing this, workers, women and migrants are treated as tradable ---mass deportation of migrants- lack of dialogue with sending governments ---More restrictions re flow of migrant labor

  11. Issues and concerns • mass deportation of migrants- lack of dialogue with sending governments • More restrictions re flow of migrant labor

  12. Proposals to ASEAN • Make as a serious goal the development of an ASEAN market • Create an alternative system of development finance • A stronger ASEAN voice – with common positions in common issues

  13. Proposals to ASEAN Negotiate using the framework of sustainable rural development and the nation’s right to produce its staple food in sufficient quantities, having in mind the protection and welfare of the small farmers and producers who forms the bulk of Asian agricultural sector;

  14. Proposals to ASEAN • Civil society have implemented worthwhile alternatives to globalization, including some alternatives on trading and marketing. We ask ASEAN governments to recognize these alternatives, and study them for possible replication and mainstreaming

  15. Proposals to ASEAN • ASEAN to imagine and construct an alternative world based on the fundamental principles respecting human rights and human dignity

  16. Proposals to ASEAN-specific • ASEAN to review the impact of neo liberal policies -WTO-AoA, TRIPS, GATS, NAMA etc to poorer people of society • Work for significant reduction of trade distorting subsidies of developed countries while giving sufficient government support for small farmers and producers to become more competitive • caution about the impact of current GATS 4-expansion negotiation

  17. Proposal to ASEAN • Involve civil society in policy making, in formulating negotiation points – eg. Phil and Indonesia experience • Can ASEAN be a hub in global trade negotiations?- divergent interests • Table the concept of development financing esp in meeting the MDGs : a caring ASEAN

  18. Homework for civil society • Can we study Japan and Korea’s model deeply? What was the development framework? What were the strategies? • Study more on impact of liberalization as it relates to poverty reduction

  19. Homework for civil society • united front of civil society must be able to define, in consultation with developing country blocs, a framework of engagement and coordination covering all the issues, inclusive, most importantly, of substantive and technical support