JAKARTA, 12 December 2013 – The ASEAN Secretariat together with the French and German Embassies in Indonesia held the ASEAN-Europe Economic Dialogue from 10-11 December 2013 at the ASEAN Secretariat in the Indonesian capital.
The session on “the importance of regional integration and trade in addressing global economic challenges: ASEAN & EU perspectives” brought together panelists from Europe and ASEAN. Meanwhile, the session on “Connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and Europe” gave opportunity to major experts from the private and public sectors to discuss connectivity issues.
The Dialogue highlighted that enhancing connectivity will promote integration objectives and bring benefit to the ASEAN people. A recent study suggested that reducing supply chain barriers in ASEAN could deliver a higher GDP impact than the lowering of tariff barriers.
The progress of ASEAN towards 2015 was also discussed, noting that while compliance with ASEAN 2015 targets is mostly on track, there is a need to monitor actual implementation to provide effective delivery of results. ASEAN-EU cooperation efforts, on-going bilateral FTA negotiations between EU and ASEAN members and comparisons between TPP and RCEP negotiations were raised.
The Dialogue aimed at providing a platform for policy makers, experts from the private sector and think-tanks of the two regions to exchange lessons learned from global economic crisis and ways to enhance connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and Europe. HE Corinne Breuze, HE Dr Georg Witschel and HE Olof Skoog, Ambassadors of France and Germany to Indonesia and ASEAN as well as EU Ambassador to ASEAN respectively, officiated at the dialogue. Mr Jean-Francoise Di Meglio, President of the Asia Center moderated the Dialogue. Speakers and panelists included Dr Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Economic Community and Mr Jean-Pierre Felenbok, President Director of Bain & Co Indonesia.
The event was supported by the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) programme.
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The EU is ASEAN’s third largest trading partner. Total trade between the 2 regions amounted to USD242.8 billion in 2012. EU’s investment in ASEAN was USD23.5 billion in the same year, which makes the EU the top investor in ASEAN.