The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, better known as ASEAN, is planning to eliminate technical trade barriers in the automotive sector in a bid to make it easier and less costly to export components within the region, The Brunei Times reported.
The Automotive Product Working Group under the ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality, which initiated this plan, officially known as the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Type Approval for Automotive Products, is expected to seek the endorsement from the member states by the end of this year, the newspaper said.
The arrangement’s main objective is to ensure that once a regulated automotive product is tested by a listed testing lab or a listed inspection body in an ASEAN country, it can be imported to another ASEAN country without being subjected to further testing.
Acting Permanent Secretary at Brunei’s Ministry of Communications Mohd Zain Abdul Razak said while the ASEAN Economic Community, which was established last year, substantially impacted the automotive sector, non-tariff barriers have remained a challenge.
“With the successful implementation of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement, producers will find it easier and less costly to export their automotive components and systems to other members of ASEAN, thus greatly contributing to the realization of the AEC,” The Brunei Times quoted Mohd Zain as saying at a meeting in Brunei last week.
He said that with the third largest population in the world, just after India and China, ASEAN is expected to continue to grow rapidly as a consumer market for vehicles.
“It will continue to gain in importance as a production base for the world’s biggest car manufacturers, especially from Asia, the United States and the European Union,” said Mohd Zain.
Vietnamese economist Nguyen Minh Phong told Thanh Nien that he supported the agreement on auto products as it will help cut production costs and may lead to lower selling prices, benefiting consumers.