Recognizing the growing importance of trade in services, ASEAN member states have formally committed their joint efforts to work towards the free movement of services in the region through the ASEAN Framework Agreement (AFAS), signed on 15 December 1995 by asean economic ministers (EMA) at the 5th ASEAN Summit. The adoption of the ASEAN Economic Community (ACS) by ASEAN Heads of State and Government at the 13th ASEAN Summit held in Singapore on 20 November 2007 is an important milestone in the history of services liberalization in ASEAN, as in other ASEAN economic regions. With the ACS blueprint, ASEAN formalized and strengthened its efforts to further liberalize the objective of freedom to provide services, in line with the semi-annual objectives and thresholds set out in the ACS blueprint, as well as other parameters defined by Ministers. The workshops addressed topics such as negotiation approaches for trade in services, introduction to the negative list approach, the practice of reading and writing negative lists and the implementation of positive lists on negative lists. These workshops were funded mainly by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan. The partnership with ERIA as part of ERIA`s Capacity Building programme, funded by the Australian Government, broadened the perspectives shared with participants by involving Australian co-facilitators. The evaluation was also conducted to determine the value of implementing this capacity building programme for the identified WHA. JAKARTA, 23 October 2020 – On 7 October 2020, ASEAN Economic Ministers signed the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA). The agreement reaffirms ASEAN`s commitment to free and open trade and regional economic integration in the face of the multiple current challenges of trade tensions, global pandemics and economic uncertainties. Since the signing of AFAS, officials from ASEAN member states have been working to achieve AFAS` goal of creating freer trade in services in the region.
This operation was implemented through rounds of negotiations that resulted in packages of commitments defining the obligations of each ASEAN Member State in different services sectors/subsectors and types of supply. Since 1 January 1996, ASEAN has concluded ten packages of AFAS commitments signed by the MEA in five rounds of negotiations. These packages provide details on the obligations of different ASEAN Member States in different services sectors and subsectors. In addition, there were seven additional commitments for financial services under AFAS, signed by the AFMM (second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth sets of financial services commitments under AFAS) and eight other packages of commitments under AFAS signed by ATM (fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and eleventh packages of commitments for air services under AFAS). . . .