JAKARTA, 13 February 2015 – Earlier this month, ASEAN and Germany held their 4th Joint Cooperation Review at the ASEAN Secretariat. The first part of the review was held together with the EU, in the form of ASEAN-EU-Germany Joint Sectoral Breakout Sessions, aimed at identifying key issues or areas of cooperation between ASEAN and Germany as well as the EU in the next two years.

Mr. Tran Dong Phuong, Director of Finance, Industry and Infrastructure at the ASEAN Secretariat along with Dr. Thorsten Hutter, the Deputy Head of the German Embassy, and Mr. Andreas List as the European Union (EU) Senior Coordinator for ASEAN spoke at the opening of the Breakout Sessions.

Director Phuong pointed out that the cooperation review was a timely event, since ASEAN is currently reviewing and updating its strategies and visions to prepare for the post-2015 integration process. For his part, Dr. Hutter thanked ASEAN and the ASEAN Secretariat for hosting the event and underlined the importance of regional cooperation and integration. He noted that the target to realise an ASEAN Community by the end of the year is coming closer. Similarly, Mr. List pointed out that regional integration was the right answer to globalisation, and a process where the EU and ASEAN have become natural partners.

Among the 90 participants in the Breakout Sessions were representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat and various ASEAN associated entities, EU delegation and a number of EU projects, as well as representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Embassy in Jakarta, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and other organisations. In light of the discussions and valuable exchange of information across projects, participants agreed to further improve coordination between ASEAN-EU and ASEAN-German cooperation.

During the ASEAN-Germany Joint Cooperation Review the next day, key results of the breakout sessions were presented to the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN (CPR) in which further inputs and ideas were provided by ASEAN. This meeting was co-chaired by Dr. AKP Mochtan, Deputy Secretary General for Community and Corporate Affairs of ASEAN, Dr. Thorsten Hutter, and Ms. Jutta Kranz-Plote, Head of South East Asia Division, BMZ.

DSG Mochtan expressed his appreciation of Germany’s ongoing commitment towards the ASEAN integration processes. He stressed the importance of enhanced coordination at all levels – in ASEAN’s regional cooperation, with the Dialogue Partners, as well as within and among ASEAN sectoral bodies. He stressed that programmes and project ideas identified by the Joint Breakout Sessions have provided important inputs and would be further considered, selected and consulted amongst the relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies during the development of future programmes and projects.

Germany has been supporting ASEAN and its integration process with financial and technical contributions since 2009.