Europe upbeat on ASEAN investment

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Companies from Europe are keen to increase their investment activity in ASEAN countries over the coming years on the back of a positive economic outlook for the region and the upcoming integration of the ten-member bloc into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

According to a business confidence survey presented by Thailand-based European Asean Business Centre, an organisation of the European Union, on December 19 in Bangkok, more than 80 per cent of the 221 respondents – European company executives of large enterprises mainly active in the sectors of manufacturing and services – are considering new major investments in the next two years in ASEAN.

The survey was undertaken by the center in collaboration with the Consortium of 16 European Chambers of Commerce and Associations in Thailand and Europe.

Europeans will also continue to invest in the ASEAN region after the AEC is implemented in 2015, said the center’s president Rolf-Dieter Daniel.

New free trade agreements will also be beneficial to bilateral economic activity. Singapore has just recently signed a free trade agreement with the European Union, as the first ASEAN country. Negotiations are ongoing with Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as preparatory talks with other ASEAN nations with the mid-term objective to ink an EU-ASEAN free trade agreement.

However, the survey showed that major challenges remain for European businesses in some ASEAN countries with regard to the performance of public institutions and political instability, issues of labour shortage and lack of required skills, energy security and regulatory enforcement of the AEC. Some respondents also mentioned corruption and lack of transparency as principal concerns.

 

 

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Companies from Europe are keen to increase their investment activity in ASEAN countries over the coming years on the back of a positive economic outlook for the region and the upcoming integration of the ten-member bloc into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Companies from Europe are keen to increase their investment activity in ASEAN countries over the coming years on the back of a positive economic outlook for the region and the upcoming integration of the ten-member bloc into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

According to a business confidence survey presented by Thailand-based European Asean Business Centre, an organisation of the European Union, on December 19 in Bangkok, more than 80 per cent of the 221 respondents – European company executives of large enterprises mainly active in the sectors of manufacturing and services – are considering new major investments in the next two years in ASEAN.

The survey was undertaken by the center in collaboration with the Consortium of 16 European Chambers of Commerce and Associations in Thailand and Europe.

Europeans will also continue to invest in the ASEAN region after the AEC is implemented in 2015, said the center’s president Rolf-Dieter Daniel.

New free trade agreements will also be beneficial to bilateral economic activity. Singapore has just recently signed a free trade agreement with the European Union, as the first ASEAN country. Negotiations are ongoing with Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as preparatory talks with other ASEAN nations with the mid-term objective to ink an EU-ASEAN free trade agreement.

However, the survey showed that major challenges remain for European businesses in some ASEAN countries with regard to the performance of public institutions and political instability, issues of labour shortage and lack of required skills, energy security and regulatory enforcement of the AEC. Some respondents also mentioned corruption and lack of transparency as principal concerns.

 

 

 

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