Asean Trade In Services Agreement Text

Subject to future agreements that may be concluded on the basis of reviews of this agreement by the parties pursuant to Article 27, the parties agree and reaffirm their obligation to comply with the provisions of WTO agreements that are relevant and applicable to trade in services. Given the growing importance of trade in services, ASEAN Member States have formally begun their joint efforts to promote free trade in services in the region through the ASEAN Framework Agreement (AFAS), signed on 15 December 1995 by ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) at the 5th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok Thailand. Services are an important and constantly growing component of GDP in ASEAN economies. From 2018, the services sector accounts for between 38% and 69% of asean`s gross domestic product (GDP). The services sector has traditionally been the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region. With a few exceptions, the service sectors have invested about 60% or more in 60% over the past 15 years. In addition, there were seven additional packages of financial services commitments under AFAS, signed by AFMM (the second, third, fourth, fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth packages of financial services commitments under AFAS) and eight additional packages of air transport commitments under the AFAS, signed by AFAS (the fourth) , the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth package. ninth, tenth and eleventh round of air service commitments under AFAS). Travel, transportation and other business services dominate the export and import of ASEAN services in general. ASEAN exports are dominated by travel services, while ASEAN imports are dominated by transport services. In fourth place, ASEAN exports are also supported by financial services, while ASEAN`s import comes from intellectual property royalties. These services are classified according to the IMF`s 6th edition payment balance sheet manual.

The parties strengthen cooperation in the service sectors, including those not covered by existing cooperation agreements. The parties review and agree on areas of cooperation and development of cooperation programmes in these sectors in order to improve their internal capabilities, efficiency and competitiveness. All this contributes to a gradual and wider coverage of the obligation for ASEAN Member States to essentially remove restrictions on trade in services between them. AFAS provides general guidance for ASEAN Member States to progressively improve market access and ensures equal treatment of service providers in ASEAN. All AFAS rules are in line with international trade rules for services made available under the World Trade in Services (GATS) General Agreement (WTO). The main objective of AFAS is to remove restrictions on trade in services between ASEAN Member States in order to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of ASEAN service providers. The liberalisation of trade in services under AFAS also aims to achieve commitments that go beyond the obligations of Member States under the GATS. Parties may negotiate commitments on trade in services that are not subject to the Schedule under Articles 18 and 19, including those relating to qualifications, standards or licensing issues. These commitments must be taken into account in a party`s schedule. At present, the ASEAN MRA has concluded in 7 (seven) professional services signed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM): ASEAN has concluded ten packages of AFAS commitments, signed by the AEM in five rounds of negotiations since 1 January 1996.

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