Creating opportunities and delivering prosperity for all
Enhanced economic cooperation benefits everyone by spreading opportunities, reducing poverty, and generating other social and political benefits. United around common values, and working together in a partnership of equals, the EU and ASEAN can amplify positive influences in shaping globalisation, upholding the multilateral order, and promoting and sustaining the fair trade and investment rules the 21st century requires.
In all, half of all EU cooperation funding to ASEAN for 2014- 2020 has been allocated towards ASEAN’s economic integration and the ASEAN Economic Community. The EU’s cooperation with ASEAN seeks to enhance economic and trade connectivity, with the aim of increasing sustainable and inclusive economic integration and trade, both within the ASEAN region and between the EU and ASEAN. In particular it focuses on connectivity in infrastructure, logistics, regulation, innovation and mobility.
Economic and trade connectivity are also the focus of negotiations, which are nearing completion, for an EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA). As the first ever bloc-to-bloc agreement, this will go beyond traffic rights to encourage cooperation on safety, security and air traffic management.
Related EU initiatives cover all the strategic areas outlined in the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, including harmonisation of standards, mutual recognition of technical regulations, reduction of non-tariff measures, and people-to-people mobility. For instance, specific initiatives aim at enhancing the transparency of trade and customs procedures in ASEAN, providing free online information on export trading regulations, and speeding road transport through the development of ASEAN’s first ever computerised customs transit management system.
In addition, the ASEAN-EU Business Summit takes place on a regular basis as a key platform for business leaders and policy makers to discuss and shape commercial and diplomatic relations across a variety of sectors.