Jakarta, 25 August 2011

The Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community, H.E. Sundram Pushpanathan met the Members of the German Federal Parliament Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development here today to discuss the economic and development cooperation between ASEAN and the Federal Republic of Germany.

The delegation was headed by Mrs Dagmar Wohrl, Head of the Committee, and was accompanied by the Ambassador of Germany to ASEAN, H.E. Dr Norbert Baas, as well as the head and officials from the German Development Cooperation and GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammernarbeit) in Indonesia.

H.E. Pushpanathan thanked the German Federal Government for its continued support to ASEAN in its community building efforts towards the creation of the ASEAN Community. He acknowledged Germany’s important contribution, especially in the ASEAN Economic Community pillar and the institutional strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat. The German Government has been providing technical assistance in a number of areas, such as competition policy, sustainable development, forestry, clean air, biodiversity and integration monitoring, as well raising awareness about ASEAN.

The two sides also discussed and exchanged information on ASEAN and the European Union (EU) on their respective paths toward integration. H.E. Pushpanathan explained that ASEAN aims to create a single market and production base by the year 2015, but pointed out that ASEAN’s approach towards economic integration is different from the EU’s approach. He said, however, that ASEAN can learn from the rich experience of the EU in community building and reaching out to its people and the global community.

He added that ASEAN’s focus now and in the next few years is to ensure that a vibrant, sustainable, well-connected and people-oriented ASEAN Community is established by the year 2015.