- The Sixth Meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) under the ASEAN – EC Cooperation Agreement was held in Brussels on 20 – 21 March 1986.
- The Meeting was jointly chaired by H.E. Ambassador Rusli Noor, Head of the Indonesian Mission to the European Communities and Mr. J. Durieux, Advisor Hors Classe of the Commission of the European Communities.
- During the meeting of the joint Cooperation Committee, the Financing Agreement for the establishment of the ASEAN Timber Technology Centre in Malaysia was signed by H.E. the EC Commissioner, Mr. Claude Cheysson and H.E. the Ambassador of Malaysia, Dato Mustapha Mahmud.
- The Joint Cooperation Committee took place at an important moment in the development of EEC – ASEAN relations. it was the first meeting to be held following the expiry of the first 5-year period of the Agreement, the first meeting held since the enlargement of the Community to include Spain and Portugal, and the first meeting since the successful meeting of Ministers responsible for Economic Matters held in Bangkok in October 1985. Both sides recognised the significant contribution which the Bangkok meeting had made to confirm new priorities and directions in EEC – ASEAN Cooperation.
Bilateral relations and international economic issues
- In a review of bilateral relations and international economic issues, the two sides noted the effects on bilateral trade of the continuing economic difficulties. Although mutual trade remained broadly balanced in 1985, the rate of expansion had decreased. Emphasis was therefore given to the need for an overall improvement in the international economic situation and a resumption of growth in trade. In this connection, ASEAN emphasized the importance of access to EC markets for its exports. It as also recognised that a New Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations could play an important role and that a successful renewal of the Multi-Fibre Agreement would provide a major contribution.
- The Joint Cooperation Committee held a wide ranging discussion on specific trade issues of mutual concern. With a view to making progress in promoting the development and diversification of their reciprocal commercial exchanges, the joint Cooperation Committee agreed that a trade experts group should be set up to examine the issues.
- The Joint Cooperation Committee reaffirmed the importance of trade in commodities and the need for the EEC and ASEAN to cooperate to improve the operations of international agreements, taking into account the evolving supply/ demand relationship for these commodities. The Meeting reviewed specific problems relating to a number of commodities with a view to clarifying the position of both sides and improving cooperation in overcoming difficulties.
- Both sides agreed on the importance of cooperation in the field of trade promotion and welcomed the progress that has been made in the implementation of a programme in this field. with a view to further enhance and develop the trade promotion projects, a review meeting is scheduled to be held towards the end of 1986.
- There as useful exchange of views on the Community’s GSP in particular improvement, in the 1986 scheme and liberalisation of the rules of origin for the ASEAN region. ASEAN requested further improvements, especially in the coverage of agricultural products and preferential margins and acceptance of donor country content in the rules of origin, requests which the Community will consider.
- In accordance with the decision of the EEC/ ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Economic Matters in Bangkok, a preliminary report was made by ASEAN and Community representatives on the deliberations of the first meeting of the High Level Working Party on investment, held in Brussels on 17 March 1986. The stated objective of the High Level Working Party is to submit a final report to their governments, in time for the Sixth ASEAN/ EEC Meeting of Foreign Ministers to consider its recommendations.
- In discussing Industrial Cooperation, the two sides confirmed the importance of sectoral conferences bringing together representatives of the business community in the two regions and agreed in principle to hold a further conference in 1987, focusing on agro-based industries such as aquaculture and dairy products. The joint Cooperation Committee took note of proposals for activities in other areas including mining and harmonisation of industrial standards. The Community reported on preparations to organise a Series of events in the capitals of the ASEAN countries on the theme of “The City in the Year 2000″. ASEAN confirmed its support for this initiative and expressed readiness to cooperate in realising the objectives as stated in the joint Statement of the EC/ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Economic Matters in Bangkok.
Science and Technology
- The Joint Committee agreed on a number of important new initiatives in the scientific ad technological field. In particular a project concerning the creation of networks between Community and ASEAN research institutes in the environmental field and a similar proposal in biotechnology constituted a pioneering approach in major step forward to future cooperation in this field. The Community also agreed to participate in the forth- coming Science and Technology Week in Kuala Lumpur in April 1986.
- The joint Committee expressed support for the proposed establishment of an EC/ASEAN Centre on Energy Management Training and Research considered at the EC/ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Economic Matters in Bangkok. The administrative and technical details will be studied to enable the Centre to be operational in 1987.
EC/ASEAN Business Council
- In their discussions on economic cooperation, the two sides recognised the useful contribution of the EC/ASEAN Business Council in bringing together representatives of the business community of the two regions in support of the activities under the Cooperation Agreement.
Human Resource Development
- The Committee reviewed the important programme of cooperation launched at the Bangkok Ministerial Meeting, noting progress in the implementation of the Data Bank project, Executive Exchange Programme and Business Management Cooperation. The Committee approved in principle the proposal for HRD Cooperation in the public service presented in the report of the Director of the European institute for Public Administration in Maastricht.
- The Committee recognized the importance of tourism in economic development. It agreed to pursue cooperation in the areas of research, training and consultancy and promotion. The Committee agreed that experts of the Community and ASEAN Sub-Committee on Tourism should meet to work out the details of a tourism Cooperation programme.
- The Committee welcomed the forthcoming mission to the ASEAN region by a senior official of EUROCONTROL to explore concrete possibilities in the field of training of ASEAN ground staff – air traffic control and airport management.
- In line with the decision of the EC- ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Economic Matters regarding cooperation in the field of drugs, the Joint Committee welcomed an ASEAN proposal for the training of dog handlers for narcotics detection. The treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts was considered another appropriate area for cooperation.
The role of crop substitution as a means of reducing supply of narcotic drugs was also mentioned by ASEAN.
- The Committee noted the progress of EC financial and technical assistance to the ASEAN region and ASEAN countries. There was a discussion on suggestion to orientated regional projects more in the direction of the industrial and service sectors. On-going projects and proposals for new projects were also discussed.