The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) to promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural and industries, scientific and transport spheres and to raise the living standards of their peoples.
ASEAN Region has faced with several challenges from evolving international order. The ASEAN Leaders thus agreed, at the 9th ASEAN Summit in 2003, Bali, Indonesia, to consolidate the achievements of ASEAN and promote cooperation that can address the existing challenges by establishing an ASEAN Community consisting of 3 pillars: the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).
Later, at the 14th ASEAN Summit in 2009 in Cha-am Hua-Hin, Thailand, the Leaders adopted the
Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community, 2009-2015 which consisted of a declaration, the 3 pillars’ respective Blueprints to realize their goals in 2015, and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Strategic Framework and IAI Work Plan 2 (2009-2015).
ASEAN consists of ten Member States, covering geographic area of 4,435,570 square kilometres with the total population of 590 million. Southeast Asia is the region of diversity, with different administrative systems, geographic conditions, various population size and cultural and language diversity.
International trade in ASEAN region
In 1992 ASEAN Member States signed an agreement to establish ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA) with an aim to reduce tariff. Later the region expanded economic cooperation both in depth and breadth and signed free trade agreements with other partners outside the region such as ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand, ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Japan ASEAN-South Korea ASEAN-India and is in the process of negotiating the regional comprehensive economic partnership agreement or RCEP. ASEAN Member States are also members of other economic cooperation such as APEC, BIMSTEC.
ASEAN is the 5th largest economy in the world. In 2017, total GDP of ASEAN Region was US$2.8 trillion, accounted for 3.5 percent of the global GDP (3.5% of global GDP. Japan, China, EU and USA are the main trading partners of ASEAN.
Trade liberalization both within the ASEAN region and with partners outside the region enables people to have better access to goods and services. However, trade liberalization also includes health services and stricter intellectual property protection which may have implications for health and the health systems. The emerging trends of international trade such as environmental protection, e-commerce, and trade related to new technology also need to be considered. It is essential that we generate sufficient evidence to support
international trade policies among countries in the ASEAN region that minimize negative health impacts while take the maximum benefit from international trade.
In addition, the Southeast Asia region is in the strategic location for trade and security and the world’s major powers are making effort to take benefit from the region
The year 2019 is another important year as Thailand takes the chairmanship of ASEAN and emphasizes the importance of advancing partnership for sustainability. The International Trade and Health Conference 2019 will therefore discuss current important issues related to international trade and health in ASEAN region with an aim to develop recommendations in response to negative health impacts and develop measures to protect and promote good health of the ASEAN population.
Dates: 19-20 November 2019
Venue: Movenpick BDMS Wellness Resort, Bangkok
Session 1: Landscape of international trade and health in ASEAN (Concept note / VDO)
Session 2.1 Liberalisation of trade in health services: Improving equitable accessibility in ASEAN (Concept note / VDO)
Session 2.2 Trade in health products: implications on health in ASEAN (Concept note / VDO)
Session 2.3 International trade and environment (Concept note / VDO)
Session 3 Global trade war: implication to health in ASEAN (Concept note / VDO)
Session 4: Seeking a common ground on international trade and health in ASEAN (Concept note / VDO)
Session 5: Moving forwards: Priority research topics (Concept note / VDO)
Materials (Phyllida Travis)
Conference Summary (coming soon)
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