Asean Trade In Service Agreement

Similarly, the services sector has traditionally been the largest recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the region. With a few exceptions, services have attracted about 60% or more of total FDI flows to ASEAN over the past 15 years. At present, ASEAN has concluded 7 (7) professional services signed by ASEAN Economic Ministers (MEAs): the agreement obliges AMS to transfer its existing schedules of commitments under AFAS, based on a positive list approach, to schedules of non-conforming measures based on a negative list approach within specified time frames. 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). AFAS provides general guidance to ASEAN member countries to progressively improve market access and ensures the same national treatment of service providers in ASEAN. All AFAS rules are consistent with the international rules governing trade in services of the World Trade Organization`s (WTO) General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). AFAS focuses on removing restrictions on trade in services between ASEAN member states in order to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of ASEAN service providers. The liberalization of trade in services under AFAS also aims to achieve commitments that go beyond member states` obligations under the GATS. All this contributes to the gradual deepening and wider covering of the commitment of ASEAN member States to essentially eliminate restrictions on trade in services between them. 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. 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 the ASEAN Ministers of Economy (EMA) at the 5th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, in Thailand. .

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