Recognizing the importance of services trade liberalization for the successful formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, the USAID’s ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment (ACTI) project supported a workshop on Trade in Services Scheduling last month in Luang Prabang, Laos.

Under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), each ASEAN Member State (AMS) is to remove restrictions affecting trade in services (including related foreign direct investment) and implement related reforms.  The ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Services (CCS) is continuing to explore ways in which AFAS could be met and enhanced, especially post-2015.

The workshop exposed ASEAN negotiators to various modes of for scheduling services liberalization that could be considered by ASEAN that are consistent with the modalities being proposed in current Geneva negotiations and that are being used in the Trans Pacific Partnership.  Approximately 70 people—mostly services negotiators from ASEAN Member States, attended the workshop.

Source: General Development Office-USAID/RDMA Monthly Highlights