SINGAPORE: ASEAN member states have made steady progress in building the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan.

Mr Lee said in Parliament on Wednesday (July 9) they are strengthening customs and cross-border cooperation, enhancing trade facilitation initiatives, as well as eliminating tariff and addressing some non-tariff measures to facilitate and increase trade in goods.

“We are also working hard to complete the 9th package of commitments under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services, which will reduce services barriers including the lowering of foreign equity limits,” said Mr Lee.

“On investment, there are ongoing activities aimed at improving ASEAN’s investment regimes and promoting ASEAN as a single investment destination.”

Mr Lee added that ASEAN member states are also working to develop the ASEAN Economic Community’s post-2015 agenda. He said they recognise that integration is the only way forward if ASEAN wants to compete successfully in an increasingly globalised world.

– CNA/ec