The European Union and ASEAN Member States met virtually today for the Seventeenth ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM)-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations. The Consultations were co-chaired by Dato Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, Brunei Darussalam, and Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.
The Meeting hailed the strong trade and investment relations between the two regions and endorsed the ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme 2020-2021, noting the progress in implementing the activities outlined therein. The Meeting appreciated the continuous support from the EU to the ASEAN Economic Community, through various programmes and initiatives under the ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE Plus) and the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI).
The co-chairs agreed to make further progress on the Framework setting out the parameters of a future ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement, while reaffirming its commitment to an open, free, inclusive, transparent, rules-based, and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system. Lastly, and despite the profound concern regarding the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, the AEM Ministers and Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis welcomed the improved outlook of global economic and trade growth, stressing the importance of closer economic engagement to leverage on the momentum, and reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen economic cooperation between ASEAN and the EU.
The full statement is available here.