NEW DELHI: Business leaders of Asian nations today decided to promote new free trade agreements and strengthen the existing pacts to use them as building blocks for creating a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).
According to a joint statement issued after the 4th Asian Business Summit, economic partnership agreements and FTAs will bind Asian economies together and promote greater regional cooperation for expanded trade in goods, services and greater cross-border investment flows, besides dismantling of non- tariff barriers.
“The business leaders resolved to promote new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)/FTAs as well as strengthen the existing agreements within the Asian region in order to use them as building blocks for creating a FTAAP,” it said.
The Summit, which was organised by CII, has emerged as an important forum for leading business organisations across Asia to meet and deliberate upon the key issues that confront them besides identify new cross border economic partnership opportunities as well as build a roadmap for accelerating the region’s economic progress.
The statement also said that the Asian business community called for deeper regional fiscal and monetary cooperation.
“This would involve expanding the membership of the Asian foreign exchange reserve pool under the Chiang Mai Initiative, and coordinated action for addressing the region’s fiscal imbalances,” it said.
The leaders called for establishing a regional financial architecture that gives both large and MSMEs easy access to timely credit.
“The business community called for enhanced utilisation of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility, and impressed upon Asian economies to press ahead with the Asian Bond Markets Initiatives for the development of local currency bond markets within the region,” it said.
They welcomed the moves to channel funds for enhancing the liquidity of Asian bond markets.
“The leaders came up with a consensus that it is necessary to dispel market anxiety in order to steadily build a stable Asian financial market. The leaders, therefore, asked each economy to implement fiscal policies which aim at building sound and reliable public financing system,” it added.
Further, to improve energy efficiency and reduce environmental burden, the participants said they would continue to collaborate to develop and spread green technologies, products, services and enhance capabilities to utilise them.
“These include energy-conservation, low-environmental- impact urban development, renewable energy, nuclear energy, and efficient use of fossil fuels. The Summit called for a region-wide effort in building initiatives such as the bilateral offset mechanism,” it said.