Thu. May 19th, 2022

The EU-ASEAN Economic and Policy Forum took place in Jakarta,
Indonesia on April 18, creating a chance for the two sides to share
experience in their economic integration.

Nearly
200 delegates from 48 countries, including diplomats, government
officials and scholars attended the event, which was jointly held by the
Global Europe, ASEAN Secretariat, the EU Delegation to the ASEAN,
Germany’s Konrad Adenauder Foundation.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Amabassador Julian Wilson, Head of the
EU Delegation to ASEAN, Indonesia and Brunei noted that EU is now
the second largest trade partner of ASE AN after China , with
two-way trade in 2012 totalling 208 billion EUR (over 270 billion USD).
Meanwhile, the 10-member association ranks fifth among EU’s major
partners, he added.

Wilson said EU and ASEAN
have also cooperated closely at the ASE AN Regional Forum (ARF),
together with other dialogue partners, to settle issues of mutual
concern as well as those related to common interest in international
security on the basis of constructive dialogues and consultations
through trust building and preventive diplomacy in Asia-Pacific.

As EU and ASEAN have abundant potential to cooperate, the two sides
should extend their already close ties in economics, trade and
investment to politics-security, culture-society, especially in the
context that Europe is fending a public debt crisis and economic motto
is shifting from the West to the Asia-Pacific, said Wilson.

ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said the event is a chance for
the two sides to share their experience in community building in the
process of connectivity and integration, facilitating public
consultations, while increasing mutual understanding between the two
regions, especially among policy makers and the private sector.

According to Minh, despite the great risks and challenges that both
ASEAN and EU are facing, the EU-ASEAN ties in politics-security,
culture-society and economics have increasingly been consolidated and
developed.

Participants at the forum discussed a
wide range of issues, including EU’s integration lessons to share with
ASEAN, impacts of the European public debt crisis on ASEAN, and key
challenges that the association faces in the Asia-Pacific economic
integration, as well as the FTA negotiations between EU and ASEAN member
countries.

They also talked the ASEAN-EU plan of
actions for the 2013-2017 period, potential and opportunities for the EU
as a factor in Asia’s security, the formulation of long-term policies
and strategies to ensure the engagement of EU in the Asia-Pacific
economic integration process.

Besides, the forum
also gave space for EU’s supporting programme for ASEAN in 2013, which
is included in the Banda Seri Begawan Plan of Actions, with an aim to
enhance regional cooperation, maintain peace, security and stability,
with ASEAN playing the central role in a forming East Asia
structure.

The EU-ASEAN Economic and Policy Forum is
considered a venue for both sides to share with each other integration
experiences and discuss bilateral relations in the changing global
economic order, as well as cooperation prospects of EU-ASEAN relations
in the new era.

Statistics have shown that in the
2008-2010 period, the EU accounted for 21 percent of the total foreign
direct investment in ASEAN, and 10 percent of ASEAN’s total foreign
trade.-VNA

By vivian