World Economy

ASEAN’s Zero Tariffs

ASEAN’s Zero Tariffs ASEAN’s Zero Tariffs

Indonesian Trade Minister Thomas Lembong downplayed concerns of the upcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nation economic integration scheduled to roll out in less than a month, noting the event as ceremonial in nature since goods are already travelling almost freely across the region, NewsNow reported. According to Thomas, the flow of goods in ASEAN has faced “almost zero tariffs” in the past some two years, before the Asean Economic Community 2015 sets in at the end of the year. “Most companies and [small and medium enterprises] are unaware that they’ve been competing in an open market. It’s no cause for alarm. We haven’t been flooded with external products. There have been some success stories,” Thomas said during a panel discussion at the Indonesia Economic Forum 2015, an annual gathering of high-profile government officials and business leaders, on Wednesday at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta. Indonesia and the other ten member countries of ASEAN are set to welcome an economic integration initiative at the end of the year which would allow for freer movement of goods and services across the region.