Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Economic Community (4th from left), and Mr. Chittipat Tongprasroeth, Deputy Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand (2nd from left), with the ASEAN Committee in Oslo (ACO) ambassadors (Photo credit: Christiansen D. Cabahug)
Oslo, 19 September 2018 – The ASEAN Committee in Oslo (ACO) held a business seminar at the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, where it briefed members of Norwegian government, business, and diplomatic circles on trade and investment opportunities for Norway in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
Dr. Aladdin D. Rillo, Deputy Secretary-General for the AEC, was on hand to outline recent efforts of the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to integrate their economies. In particular, Dr. Rillo heralded the initiatives under the AEC to promote freer flow of goods, services, and capital within ASEAN, such as addressing tariff and non-tariff barriers and promoting mutual recognition agreements for various professions across the ASEAN countries.
For the private sector, Dr. Rillo said that a more economically integrated ASEAN gives businesses access to greater markets composed of young, middle-class citizens in Southeast Asia. Initiatives to reduce economic barriers within ASEAN also help companies reduce business costs by facilitating access to energy, technology, and finance, which also promotes predictability of doing business.
Mr. Chittipat Tongprasroeth, Deputy Director-General of the Department of ASEAN Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, also presented Thailand’s thrust to promote a “People-Centered ASEAN Community Where No One is Left Behind”, as incoming chair of ASEAN in 2019. Mr. Chittipat also noted that some of its specific priorities, such as maritime and marine cooperation and addressing climate change, are already in line with Norway’s priorities.
The ACO groups together the five resident ASEAN embassies in Oslo (Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) and aims to promote ASEAN awareness and ASEAN-Norway relations. The Philippines presently chairs the ACO from July to December 2018. END