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UK, New Zealand, Eurasia eye stronger trade ties with Asean

Nov 04. 2019
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By THE NATION

The Asean community is of highest importance to the United Kingdom, especially during this crucial time when the country is leaving the European Union, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and son of Queen Elizabeth II, told the Asean Business and Investment Summit 2019 on Sunday at Impact Muang Thong Thani in Nonthaburi province.

As the relationship between Britain and the world is changing, the prince said, the country has to diversify its economy and expand its partnership networks. Andrew asked the governments of participating countries to eliminate trade obstacles and promote business instead of increasing regulations and conditions that would hold back progress.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said negotiations to improve the terms of the Asean-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, which has been in effect since 2010, will take place next year, and Wellington is looking to establish cooperation with Asean through various projects including scholarships and sharing of good agricultural practices.

Ardern also urged Southeast Asian countries to strengthen economic ties with each other as well as with New Zealand to overcome obstacles and tensions caused by a superpower trade dispute that has already cost the global economy at least US$1 trillion (Bt30 trillion) in the past year.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) signed a free trade agreement with Vietnam in 2015 and with Singapore last month. He was representing EAEU members Russia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“We are discussing additional partnerships with other Asean countries, and would like to urge Asean to work with the EAEU to reduce trade obstacles especially in technology to promote fair competition and inspire new innovations in our regions,” he said.

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