KUALA LUMPUR — April 27, 2015: Asean leaders have agreed that non-tariff barriers needed to be addressed by the regional grouping to further boost free movement of goods and services.
The need to remove barriers to trade was expressed by most leaders, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today.
“This view was expressed by leaders from many countries. Asean hopes that there will be freer trade of goods and services,” he told a press conference after chairing the plenary session of the 26th Asean summit here.
Najib said that removing barriers to trade, which goes beyond reducing tariffs, must also include the elimination of non-tariff barriers, such as overly burdensome regulations that hamper free and fair trade.
“We must accelerate programmes to harmonise standards, increasing capital market and financial integration, and promote the seamless movement of goods, services, investments and professionals between our countries,” he said.
In an interview with Bernama prior to the summit, the prime minister had said that pricing nationalism should not be allowed to become a threat that could negate efforts to form the Asean Economic Community (AEC) by the year’s end.
In the next few months before the AEC is formed, Najib said efforts to remove or abolish tariffs should be further enhanced.
Najib also said Malaysia called for the strengthening of the existing mechanisms, including the East Asia summit. — Bernama