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Integration/Ministerial Meeting
August 24, 2007
Economic community high on agenda

The annual meeting of the ASEAN economic ministers convened in Manila on Friday with a blueprint for an integrated economic community put high on the agenda so that it could be signed at a summit to be held late this year. Thai Commerce Minister Krirkkrai Jirapaet is attending the August 24-27 meeting. with many key issues scheduled for discussion.

Participants are expected to give opinions on the economic issues contained in the draft ASEAN charter, which serves as the group's constitution. They will consider the blueprint for the ASEAN Economic Community set to be established in 2015.

The economic ministers will ask their respective leaders to declare that they are adopting and implementing the blueprint when they meet in a summit in Singapore in November.

They will also sign a key protocol regarding a deliberation of an import tariff cut on rice and sugar products some ASEAN members are not ready to cooperate within the given timeframe, as well as another protocol on a cluster of logistics and transport services to boost the competitiveness of businesses. TNA reports

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