ASEAN group to remove tariffs

November 16, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Reuben Carder
The Wall Street Journal

Six major members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will remove tariffs on cross-border transactions of goods on Jan. 1 next year in a move toward broader trade liberalization across the region, the 10-member bloc said in a statement.

The statement, released over the weekend, said Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand–the so-called Asean-6 members–will “achieve their zero-tariff target for all merchandises moving across their borders.”

“Asean’s systematic forward movement towards tariff liberalisation is an indication of how a regional grouping addresses the concerns of rising protectionism,” which have been raised at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Singapore last week, the statement said.