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Joint Media Statement : Thirteenth AEM-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations, 26 April 2015, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the EU Trade Commissioner held their Thirteenth Consultations on 26 April 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Consultations were co-chaired by H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia and H.E Cecilia Malmström, the EU Trade Commissioner.

  2. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner noted that trade between ASEAN and EU expanded from US$ 242.6 billion in 2012 to US$ 246.2 billion in 2013, representing 9.8% of ASEAN’s total trade and placing the EU as ASEAN’s second largest trading partner. ASEAN’s preliminary data of 2014 shows that the total trade between ASEAN and EU amounting to US$248.2 billion, showing an increase of 0.8% compared to total bilateral trade recorded in 2013. The EU remains the largest source of foreign direct investment inflows to ASEAN in 2014 at US$ 29.1 billion or 21.3% of total FDI inflows to ASEAN, an increase of 30.5% year-on-year.


Progress of ASEAN-EU Cooperation

  1. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner were pleased with the growing momentum in economic cooperation, which contributed to the deepening of economic relations between the two regions. Despite the economic crisis in Europe in the recent past, trade and investment between ASEAN and the EU remained strong. The ASEAN Economic Ministers commended the EU for its commitment in strengthening bilateral relations with individual ASEAN Member States and regional ties.

  2. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner were pleased with the progress in the implementation of the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme for 2013-2014, including the 12th  AEM-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations, the 20th and 21st SEOM- European Union Consultations, the 3rd ASEAN-EU Business Summit, exchange of business missions, and various projects on services, investment, energy, and air transportation.

  3. The ASEAN Ministers expressed their gratitude and appreciation for EU’s continuous and strong support and technical assistance rendered to ASEAN economic integration through the ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE), the EU-ASEAN Project on IPR (ECAP III) and the EU-ASEAN Capacity Building Programme for Monitoring Integration Progress and Statistics (EU-COMPASS). These programmes have helped realise significant progress in key AEC initiatives such as the ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS), the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR), the ASEAN Food Safety Policy Framework and the Common Guidelines for the Substantive Examination of Trademarks and the ASEAN TMView database. Ministers welcomed the announcement by EU Trade Commissioner that EU assistance to ASEAN would increase from €70 million to €170 million over the next 7 years, including a €86 million envelope for Connectivity through Sustainable and Inclusive Economic Integration and Trade.

  4. To further deepen economic ties and enhance the trade and investment relationship between ASEAN and the EU, the Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner endorsed the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme for 2015-2016 which has been built upon the successful initiatives under the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme for 2013-2014, in accordance with the Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action to strengthen the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership (2013-2017). They welcomed the inputs from private sector.  The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner also welcomed the new emphasis given to the organisation of experts’ meetings on areas of mutual interest.

  5. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner exchanged views on EU-ASEAN trade and investment relations issues, including progress of bilateral free trade agreement negotiations between individual ASEAN Member State and the EU. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation between the two regions, including exploring the possibility of resuming negotiations of an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement in the near future. Senior Officials of ASEAN and EU will meet towards the end of the year to take stock and explore the way forward and report back to the Ministers.

  6. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner underscored their continued support and commitment to a strong multilateral trading system. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner agreed on the importance of the implementation of the Post-Bali Work Programme, specifically the implementation and entry into force of the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement. They also agreed on the mutual interest in achieving a rapid conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda.

  7. The EU Trade Commissioner informed the Meeting of progress in the plurilateral negotiations to liberalise trade in environmental goods and encouraged ASEAN Member States to join this initiative. The EU Trade Commissioner also updated the Ministers on the state of play of the plurilateral Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations, underlining the interest by ASEAN Member States to participate in TiSA would be very welcomed.

  8. The EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC) reported its activities to the Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner. The Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner underscored the role of businesses as drivers of economic growth in the two regions and commended the initiatives undertaken by the Council, in particular the engagement with ASEAN sectoral bodies at the working level.  




  1. H.E. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam

  2. H.E. Sun Chanthol, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia

  3. H.E. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Trade

  4. H.E. Rachmat Gobel, Minister of Trade, Indonesia

  5. H.E. Mrs. Khemmani Pholsena, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR

  6. H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia

  7. H.E. Dr. Kan Zaw, Union Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar

  8. H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines

  9. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore

  10. H.E. Mrs. Apiradi Tantraporn, Deputy Minister of Commerce, Thailand

  11. H.E. Dr. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam

  12. H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN

Last Updated 2015-08-06 18:33:53 by vox vox

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