Review of the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program
During the 20th Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers and the Ministers of Australia and New Zealand held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 23 August 2015, the Ministers welcomed the FTA Joint Committee's assessment of the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program which concluded that the Program:
- has delivered results and tangible outcomes in capacity-building, at individual and institutional levels, by developing technical expertise among officials and enhancing ASEAN Member States institutions in the areas of trade in goods, services, investment, intellectual property and competition;
- supports a maturing policy dialogue between ASEAN, Australia and New Zealand, including on AANZFTA’s built-in agenda and negotiations to amend the agreement to make it more business-friendly;
- develops and strengthens working relationships among the relevant FTA committees through a well-structured institutional framework that is supporting the development of the substantive FTA work program;
- continues to be the preferred model for ASEAN-based FTA implementation and related support because of its demand-driven nature and alignment with the Parties’ priorities, strong synergies with ASEAN Economic Community objectives and support to national economic reform agendas; and
- is characterized by strong country and regional ownership with substantial in-kind contributions for planning and implementation by the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Member States, Australia and New Zealand.