AFTA Services Negotiations

An ASEAN Framework Agreement on trade in services was adopted at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in December 1995. Under the agreement, ASEAN countries will negotiate intra-regional services liberalization in a number of sectors, including telecommunications, tourism, financial services, construction, and maritime transport.

ASEAN has concluded three packages of commitments from two rounds of negotiations on liberalising trade in services in seven sectors: air transport, business services, construction, financial services, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism.

At their September 2001 annual meeting in Vietnam, the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) launched a third round of negotiations, to begin in 2002 and end in 2004, covering all sectors and modes of supply. During the Seventh ASEAN Summit, held in Brunei in November 2001, the Leaders agreed to speed up negotiations in liberalizing intra-ASEAN trade in services and also to start negotiations on mutual recognition arrangements to facilitate flow of professional services in the region.