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Press Release: EU-ASEAN Business Council Welcomes EU ASEAN Region-to- Region FTA Framework Discussions




 

  • EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrӧm announces the setting up of a framework for EU-ASEAN FTA discussions
  • The EU-ASEAN Business Council welcomes the announcement of formal discussions on the establishment a framework for an eventual EU-ASEAN FTA
  • The EU is the largest source of foreign direct investment into ASEAN and its second largest trading partner
  • The EU-ABC hopes this will pave the way for the harmonization of standards across the EU and ASEAN regions, boosting trade and investments for both
  • 66% of European Businesses in the EU-ABC’s 2016 Business Sentiment Survey believed that the EU should pursue a region-to-region FTA with ASEAN
 
 
The EU-ASEAN Business Council welcomes the announcement of formal discussions on the establishment a framework for an eventual EU-ASEAN FTA. Europe is the largest source of foreign direct investment to ASEAN and European companies have a vested interest in a region-to-region FTA between the two large and complementary trading blocs.
 
With bilateral FTAs with Singapore and Vietnam concluded, and on-going trade talks with the Philippines and Indonesia, the commencement of formal discussions for working towards a region-to-region FTA between the EU and ASEAN is a natural next step. Such a deal will bring about opportunities that would enable ASEAN to remain competitive globally, and boost further trade and investments links between the blocs.
 
Commenting on the announcement, Chris Humphrey, Executive Director, EU-ASEAN Business Council said:
 
“The implementation of a region-to-region FTA between Europe and ASEAN would allow both trading partners to tap on the business and investment opportunities available in each other’s regions and maximize the potential of mutually-beneficial relationships in relation to expanding consumer markets and production bases. With the global political and economic uncertainty, it is more crucial for Europe and ASEAN to lean on each other and solve customs, trade and investment issues that affect businesses on both sides negatively and hold back economic development. We look forward to the discussions that can eventually move the region-to-region FTA to come to fruition.”