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Press Release: EU ASEAN Business Council Meets ASEAN Economic Ministers & European Trade Commissioner with Key Recommendations for Advancing the AEC








 
  • ‚ÄčThe EU-ASEAN Business Council today met ASEAN Economic Ministers and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström to discuss the ASEAN Economic Community and advancing the trade and investment relationship between Europe and Southeast Asia. 
  • The EU-ABC also presented its latest position paper looking at the AEC 2025 Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (CSAP)
 
  • ASEAN remains an important region for European businesses with Europe still the lead source of FDI funds to ASEAN and Europe remaining ASEAN’s second largest trading partner
 
  • The EU-ABC presented three approaches for improving global competitiveness and enhancing trade:
    1) 
    Improve physical and financial infrastructure; 2) Remove formal and informal barriers to trade & investment; 3) Educate, equip and encourage the workforce
 
  • As the voice of European business in the region, the EU-ABC looks forward to working closely with ASEAN Member States, calling for governmental bodies and extensive involvement of private sector to keeping with clear, tangible timelines laid out in the CSAP report
 
 Commenting on the EU-ABC’s presentation to the ASEAN Economic Ministers, EU-ABC Chairman Donald Kanak said:
 
“The importance of EU-ASEAN trade and investment relations is undeniable with Europe being the greatest source of FDI flows into ASEAN, and ASEAN being EU’s third largest trading partner outside of Europe. Today we presented recommendations in three key areas involving physical and financial infrastructure, trade facilitation and human capital -- enablers of regional competitiveness and growth that we believe are vital to advance ASEAN's goals set out in the AEC Blueprint 2025.”
 
Commenting further on the 2025 AEC Blueprint, Chris Humphrey, Executive Director of the EU-ABC said:
 
“The AEC is an ongoing project that the EU-ABC has been enthusiastically supporting and promoting to our members and leaders in the region. The recently published CSAP complements the existing AEC Blueprint 2025 by providing tangible timelines to facilitate both actionable measures as well as feedback processes from stakeholders – a document highly welcomed by the EU-ABC. We hope the ASEAN member states can collectively see through the full implementation of the AEC 2025.”
 
Chris Humphrey further commented: “The shift towards deeper economic integration would allow for enhanced competitiveness and improvements in the business environment and regulatory regimes that will benefit all businesses in Southeast Asia and continue to make ASEAN an attractive destination for FDI”.