ASEAN, the five nation economic grouping of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, look set for a showdown with Australia over its plans to introduce cheap fares, no-stopover flights to Europe.
GV ASEAN Economic Minister meeting sign.
GV Thai delegation seated at table.
GV and SV Singapore delegations (2 shots)
GV ZOOM SV Malaysia delegation
GV Indonesia delegation
SV Philippines delegation
SV Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Hussein Onn take on platform with ASEAN Economic ministers
SV Thai Minister
SV and GV Hussein Onn speaking and delegates listening (3 shots)
GV delegates applaud end
Ministers are divided over how strong a stand ASEAN should take against Australia.
Singapore, as the region's pivotal trouist destination, and the country which stands to lose the most from the low cost scheme, is believed by informed sources to be in favour of strong united action. Seq 1-3
But other countries such as Malaysia are taking the view that they are not against the introduction of cheap fares as such, but would like to discuss with Australia how to avoid hurting their tourist industries.
ASEAN officials are due to hold talks on the matter with the Australian government in Canberra next month.
Ministers also focused their attention on ASEAN's economic relationships with third countries, particularly the European Common Market, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States, which are the group's largest trading partners. Seq 4-8
Addressing the gathering, Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Hussein Onn said ASEAN was not satisfied with the progress achieved so far in taking such international issues as multilateral trade negotiations and commodity problems.
He said that although the ideals of a new international economic order have been endorsed by the world community, the commitments by the industrialised nations yet to be kept. Seq 9-10
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Background: ASEAN, the five nation economic grouping of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, look set for a showdown with Australia over its plans to introduce cheap fares, no-stopover flights to Europe. At a two day meeting of ASEAN economic ministers which opened on Thursday (14 December) in Kuala Lumpur, ways were being considered to counter the Australian move.
The ASEAN countries are deeply concerned about the impact the proposals would have which would restrict the cheap rate European services to Qantas and British Airways.