Capacity building and outreach on ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST) took place on 28 February - 01 March 2019, at Lao Plaza Hotel, Vientiane Capital. The event was chaired by Mr. Saysana SAYAKONE, Director General of Department of Foreign Trade Policy, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, with 15 distingused delegates from line minstiries and some private sectors, Business Associations, Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The purpose of this training was to provide knowledge and understanding of ASSIST for ASEAN trade in services, which is established to allow ASEAN-based enterprises to lodge quiries or to interact with ASEAN Governments through ASEAN Secretariat regarding to intra-ASEAN cross-border trade in services.
Mr. Saysana SAYAKONE said that ASSIST was one of the activities under ASEAN blueprint and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that was initiated since 2015. This useful tool was officially launched at the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting on 03rd August 2016, Lao PDR. At the beginning, it was available only to address cross-border issues related to trade in goods. However, ARISE Plus is supporting the expansion of ASSIST to also covers trade in services and planned for an official launch during the 25th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Retreat in April, 2019.
He also emphasized that ASSIST will be beneficial for private sectors, Business Associations, and Chambers of Commerce and Industry as one of solutions for cross-border trade issues within ASEAN. Thus, above-mentioned stakeholders should take advantages from such tool for increase their capacity to compete in ASEAN market and their competency in regional and international trade integration.
ASSIST can be accessed free of charge and available in English by visiting http://assist.asean.org