KOTA BAHARU, Feb 24 (Bernama) — The 21st ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat this weekend will discuss ways to facilitate trade among the region’s member nations, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.
“We want to discuss trade barriers, how to facilitate two-way trade besides the benefits to be gained.
“With different standards, for example, if we want to send the same good through different ports in ASEAN countries, it has to undergo quite stringent procedures and tests,” he said at a press conference to announce the programme for the retreat to be held here on Feb 27 to March 1.
Mustapa said Kota Baharu was chosen as the venue for the retreat to enable Kelantan to be promoted as a progressive trade, investment and tourism destination.
“Through the programme, Kelantan will be better known and this will bring a positive impact to the state in terms of tourism, trade and investment, while opening a wider market in ASEAN countries to entrepreneurs,” he said.
He said in conjunction with the retreat, there will be an exhibition on products by the state’s small and medium enterprises and a seminar related to ASEAN, while the ministers will be visiting Rantau Panjang on the Kelantan-Thailand border to see the town’s trade and tourism potential.
Mustapa said the retreat will be attended by some 200 delegates and covered by over 170 local and foreign media personnel.