HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese Government on October 18 issued Resolution 131/NQ-CP ratifying the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA).
The Ministry of Planning and Investment is tasked with collaborating with other ministries and agencies to implement the deal when it comes into force.
ATISA is considered a new step in ASEAN’s integration process of services. Upon coming into force, the pact will replace the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) that took effect in 1995.
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As a principle, ATISA establishes frameworks to implement liberalisation commitments from AFAS, reduce discriminatory barriers between service providers, and lay a solid legal foundation and a more transparent mechanism for trade in services in the region.
ATISA applies a “negative list” approach, under which all services sectors are considered as liberalised by default. A State would then list only those sectors/sub-sectors in which it has taken measures that it considers to run counter to the obligations of the agreement (also known as non-conforming measures).
ATISA also includes three sectoral annexes namely Annex on Financial Services, Annex on Telecommunication Services, and Annex on Air Transport Ancillary Services. These annexes include sector-specific obligations intended for deeper commitments and strengthened regulatory cooperation. In addition, the agreement also has Appendices I and II including the list of non-conforming measures of each ATISA member country. — VNS