The 24th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, held in Brussels, Belgium, on Feb 2, agreed to further intensify trade and investment relations between countries.
“We were encouraged by the robust economic cooperation between ASEAN and the EU, with the EU being ASEAN’s third-largest foreign investor and third-largest trading partner in 2022 and reaffirmed our commitment to make use of this positive momentum to further intensify trade and investment relations between the ASEAN and the EU,” according to the Joint Ministerial Statement in Jakarta, Saturday.
At the meeting attended by ASEAN foreign ministers and EU member countries, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Commission, as well as Timor-Leste as an ASEAN observer, the ASEAN re-emphasized the importance of finding solutions to long-standing market access problems.
Both parties also welcome opportunities to increase trade and investment through bilateral free trade agreements, strengthen connectivity and economic relations between the two regions, and increase sustainable development for both parties, such as through the ASEAN-EU Joint Working Group on Trade and Investment (JWG).
“We will intensify our engagement on trade and economic issues and explore other venues in the short and medium terms to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as digital economy, green technologies and green services, sustainable commodity production and consumption, and supply chain resilience, while reaffirming a future ASEAN-EU FTA as a common long-term objective,” the statement noted.
Furthermore, at the meeting chaired by Philippine Minister of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo and Vice President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, ASEAN and the EU also reaffirmed the shared values and common interests that underlie the 47 years of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations and expressed satisfaction with the comprehensive and diverse nature of dynamic partnerships.
They also reaffirmed the strategic partnership and shared interest in keeping the regions peaceful, stable, and prosperous, in upholding and respecting international law and the rules-based international order based on adherence to international law and in maintaining peace, security and stability, including through measures, such as the promotion and protection of human rights, including for persons with disabilities, gender equality, and fundamental freedoms.
Furthermore, the ASEAN reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to support Timor-Leste joining ASEAN that is in line with the Roadmap for its full membership in the ASEAN.
The meeting also noted that the EU’s support for Timor-Leste joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) will help its integration into the global economy and regional architecture.