MI-AGCID-SUBREI-TICA deepen AMS’ understanding of trade agreements and negotiations through sharing of practical experience from Chile.

May 23, 2023

Thirty-seven officials from nine ASEAN Member States (AMS) and India discussed the current state of play in international trade negotiations, the global trade system, and trade policies of each ASEAN country and Chile at the online international workshop on “Trade Negotiation for ASEAN Members” which ran from May 23 – June 7, 2023. Organized by Mekong Institute (MI), the eight-day workshop was held three days per week with the support of the Chilean International Cooperation Agency for Development (AGCID), in collaboration with the Undersecretariat of International Economic Affairs (SUBREI) and Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA).

Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekhan, Executive Director of MI, opened the online workshop, saying, “International trade plays an important role in opening gates between countries, and reducing limitations and trade barriers. Free trade agreements (FTAs) provide a wide range of benefits to businesses. Companies can also access new business opportunities, for example, new resources, new markets, and new business partners, among others. Against this background, this workshop is being organized to deepen understanding of important aspects relevant for ASEAN economies and provide opportunities to hear and learn from the Chilean experience.”

Mr. Sebastian Gómez, Director-General of Bilateral Economic Affairs, SUBREI, expressed his appreciation to all the partners for organizing this important workshop and urged participants to actively contribute their country’s perspectives and ask questions.

H.E. Mrs. Ureerat Chareontoh, Director-General, TICA, underscored the importance of international trade in supporting growth, development and poverty reduction. “Fostering a rules-based and non-discriminatory trading system is recognized by 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a vehicle to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) guided by SDG17, Partnership for the Goals. Thailand and Chile are therefore collaborating to strengthen the capacity of AMS to effectively participate in trade negotiations and maximize trade agreements to achieve development outcomes.”

Participants were senior to mid-level officials, practitioners and promoters from the ministries of industry and commerce, foreign affairs, foreign trade policy department, trade promotion agencies, trade policy development, business and academic institutes.

The workshop consisted of twenty-two topics under five interrelated modules:

i. Overview of the World Trade System and Trade Negotiation

ii. ASEAN Trade Tools

iii. Negotiation Framework

iv. Citizen Participation and Transparency

v. The Art of Trade Negotiation

During the closing ceremony on June 7, 2023, MI and SUBREI representatives delivered the final remarks, reiterating the importance of the workshop which opened up opportunities to explore techniques, strategies, and approaches in trade negotiation through a hands-on negotiation simulation exercise, and sharing of best practices from various countries by the participants. The space also allowed for interaction and expanding networks for future collaborations.

Subject matter experts also spoke positively of the workshop, particularly the active participation from the participants throughout the duration.

On behalf of our Vice Ministry, I would like to express our utmost sincere gratitude to MI, colleagues and to all the ASEAN participants for always being very receptive to the presentations we gave, especially the interesting enquiries, interventions and questions asked during the workshop. Many thanks as well to the SUBREI team who was part of this initiative,” said Mr. Sebastian Gómez, Director-General of Bilateral Economic Affairs, SUBREI.

This workshop is part of the 3-year Development Cooperation Program between Thailand and Chile with activities running from 2019 - 2021 with MI as an activity’s implementing agency.

Category: Trade and Investment Facilitation

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