As two of the most advanced regional organisations in the world, the EU and ASEAN are taking their relationship to the next level. The EU has become ASEAN’s biggest trading partner after China, and ASEAN now represents the EU’s third largest trading partner, with bilateral trade in goods and services reaching €246.6bn in 2014. ASEAN is also becoming an increasingly attractive investment destination for EU businesses, in part due to its efforts to drive regional economic integration and create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will allow the free flow of goods, services, investments, and skilled labour, and the freer movement of capital across the region. Politically, the appointment of a dedicated EU Ambassador to ASEAN in 2015 and the flurry of high-level visits to ASEAN, including by High Representative Mogherini and Commissioner Malmström, show the desire to upgrade relations to a more strategic level. The new ASEAN Community Vision for 2025, with its emphasis on building stronger people-to-people links, also opens new avenues for EU-ASEAN cooperation.
- A year after it entered into force is the ASEAN Economic Community fulfilling its promises?
- What are the main challenges encountered by EU businesses in ASEAN and vice versa and how could these be resolved?
- Now that the EU has finalised Free Trade Agreements with two ASEAN member states, and is negotiating FTAs with 4 others, is it time for a region-to-region Free Trade Agreement?
- How will Brexit affect EU-ASEAN trade and investment ties?
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- You may wish to read the highlights from this event.
- Friends of Europe, ‘EU-ASEAN: Sharing experiences on education and regional integration‘
- Europe’s World, ‘With integration comes opportunity: the ASEAN story‘
- Debating Europe, ‘What lessons can ASEAN draw from the EU’s single market?’
IMAGE CREDIT: CC / FLICKR – European External Action Service
12.00 – 12.30 Welcome and registration of participants
12.30 – 14.00 EU-ASEAN, from words to actions: the business view
14.00 End of debate
Introductory remarks by
Donald Kanak, Chairman of the EU-ASEAN Business Council
Shada Islam, Director Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe