EU eager to maintain strong trade ties to ASEAN

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EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht speaks at the ASEAN-EU Business Forum in Phnom Penh on April 1, 2012

The European Union aims to strengthen its business ties to ASEAN countries after the economic crisis in Europe has weakened the trade between the two regions.

Business leaders from the European Union and ASEAN member states on April 1 discussed the future of mutual trade and investment at the second ASEAN–EU Business Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a side event to the 20th ASEAN Summit on April 3 and 4 in the Cambodian capital.

Despite China stepping up its investments in ASEAN, the European Union still was the biggest investor in the ten-country association and its second-biggest trading partner in 2010, with $10.2 trillion in bilateral trade. The EU had been pouring around $17 billion into the region in 2010, which makes more than 23 per cent of total foreign direct investment.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said trade and investment between the EU and ASEAN was vital for the future prosperity of both regions. However, he added that Europe’s economic downturn poses a threat to the two regions’ business relationship. He said he hoped that the ASEAN Economic Community with its attempt to bring law, tax, and trade regulations into harmony by 2015 would ease transactions and give bilateral trade a boost.

Gucht also said that the EU would seek further free-trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries as part of its efforts to endorse the regional free-trade pact.

Cambodia itself hopes to attract more attention from investors by hosting such summits. The country’s exports to the EU increased by 40 per cent to a total value of $1.3 billion in 2011, with mostly textile and fishery products shipped to Europe.

More than 300 participants attended the summit, including many business leaders from Europe and the ASEAN region. The summit presented sector-specific dialogues in four industries: agribusiness (food processing and beverages), infrastructure and connectivity (logistics and trade facilitation), manufacturing (automobile and pharmaceutical), and services (finance, insurance and information and communication technology).

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht speaks at the ASEAN-EU Business Forum in Phnom Penh on April 1, 2012

The European Union aims to strengthen its business ties to ASEAN countries after the economic crisis in Europe has weakened the trade between the two regions.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht speaks at the ASEAN-EU Business Forum in Phnom Penh on April 1, 2012

The European Union aims to strengthen its business ties to ASEAN countries after the economic crisis in Europe has weakened the trade between the two regions.

Business leaders from the European Union and ASEAN member states on April 1 discussed the future of mutual trade and investment at the second ASEAN–EU Business Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, a side event to the 20th ASEAN Summit on April 3 and 4 in the Cambodian capital.

Despite China stepping up its investments in ASEAN, the European Union still was the biggest investor in the ten-country association and its second-biggest trading partner in 2010, with $10.2 trillion in bilateral trade. The EU had been pouring around $17 billion into the region in 2010, which makes more than 23 per cent of total foreign direct investment.

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said trade and investment between the EU and ASEAN was vital for the future prosperity of both regions. However, he added that Europe’s economic downturn poses a threat to the two regions’ business relationship. He said he hoped that the ASEAN Economic Community with its attempt to bring law, tax, and trade regulations into harmony by 2015 would ease transactions and give bilateral trade a boost.

Gucht also said that the EU would seek further free-trade agreements with individual ASEAN countries as part of its efforts to endorse the regional free-trade pact.

Cambodia itself hopes to attract more attention from investors by hosting such summits. The country’s exports to the EU increased by 40 per cent to a total value of $1.3 billion in 2011, with mostly textile and fishery products shipped to Europe.

More than 300 participants attended the summit, including many business leaders from Europe and the ASEAN region. The summit presented sector-specific dialogues in four industries: agribusiness (food processing and beverages), infrastructure and connectivity (logistics and trade facilitation), manufacturing (automobile and pharmaceutical), and services (finance, insurance and information and communication technology).

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