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ASEAN Officials Convened in a Regional Dialogue on Negative List Scheduling

8 December 2019

Siem Reap, 5 – 6 December 2019 –  A two-day Regional Dialogue on preparing Negative List Schedules comprising of approximately 30 trade negotiators from the AAZNFTA Parties was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia.  The aim of the Regional Dialogue was to increase regional understanding and information-sharing on approaches to preparing negative list schedules, which would result in more efficient trade negotiations and improved regional services architecture in trade agreements. Experiences of ASEAN Member States (AMS) and Australia in preparing draft negative list services commitments, including lessons learned, were shared through panel discussions and interactive roundtables.

The Regional Dialogue followed a series of capacity building workshops on preparing negative list schedules for four AMS, namely Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR and Thailand in October and November of 2019. For more information on these workshops please click here.

In his remarks, Mr. Chhean Potry, Deputy Director, Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia stated: “We encourage all participant countries to share their experience of preparing a negative list with other ASEAN Member States. This will include exchanging knowledge and best practice guidance, and sharing lessons learned from the process of preparing a negative list schedule.”

Ms. Chuwankorn Sasanabanchakul a Trade Officer, Practitioner Level of the Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Commerce of Thailand mentioned “It is difficult to ensure the industries and even internal relevant line agencies or ministries on basic understanding of negative list issues and hopefully this workshop will help provide better understanding on technicalities of negative list scheduling."

This Regional Dialogue provided a platform for participant countries to mutually learn from each other and share experiences on negative list, as well as enhanced participants’ understanding of key issues and implications of the negative list approach.

 As part of a pilot phase of the ‘Preparatory Work on Transitioning to Negative List’ project supported under the AANZFTA Economic Cooperation Support Program (AECSP), the Regional Dialogue was organised by the ASEAN Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia.
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