These all are signed to reduce obstacles and increase facilities in the field of trade
Semarang, Central Java (ANTARA) - Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan signed four Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) that are aimed at harmonizing the regulations of trade between Southeast Asian countries to reduce obstacles in export and import.

"These all are signed to reduce obstacles and increase facilities in the field of trade," Hasan noted on the sidelines of the 55th ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) Meeting here on Sunday.

The series of the 55th AEM and Related Meetings are being held on August 17-22, 2023, in Semarang, Central Java.

The four MRAs comprise, first, the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Mutual Recognition Arrangements (AFA MRA). According to Hasan, the framework will become a legal basis for mutual recognition of aspects of assessments conducted by a country.

"The second MRA is the ASEAN Food Safety Regulatory Framework Agreement (AFSRFA) for comprehensive food security in the region," he remarked.

Hasan explained that the AFSRFA will become the basis for the harmonization of international standards and regulations in the region, such as standards for food control. This is expected to reduce barriers in the trade of food products.

The third signed MRA is the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements for Building and Construction Materials (MRA BCM). He noted that the MRA serves as a mutual recognition for the certification of assessment of building materials and construction in ASEAN.

"This MRA will also reduce additional costs and guarantee good product quality," he stated.

Meanwhile, the fourth MRA is the Protocol to Amend the ASEAN Sectoral Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Inspection of Manufacturers of Medicinal Products.

The MRA serves as mutual recognition for manufacturing and medicinal products in ASEAN.

The minister explained that those four MRAs will boost the economic integrity of ASEAN.

"We, ASEAN, are already very close. It has been a long time. We already have RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), but we are still like on our own," he stated.

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Translator: Indra Arief, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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