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Dec 15, 2022 / 14:24

Further cooperation between the EU and ASEAN expected: PM Chinh

ASEAN and the EU were each other's third largest trading partners, with total bilateral trade of almost $269 billion in 2021.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on December 14 urged EU and ASEAN member states to deepen strategic ties towards greater sustainability.

Speaking at the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit, PM Chinh appreciated the effort made by the two blocs over the past 45 years to promote the prosperity and growth of peoples and nations.

From left to right: President of the European Council Charles Michel, Vietnam's Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen at the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit 2022 in Brussels, Belgium, on December 14. Photo: VNA 

The summit, held in Brussels, Belgium, to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of EU-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, brought together State and government leaders of the European Union member states and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Prime Minister Chinh urged the EU and ASEAN to be focused, creative and resolute in objectives and to promote partnership on a fair, risk-sharing, and equal principle.

He affirmed that Vietnam is always on the side of European businesses in their operations in the country and that the nation is determined to fulfill its commitments to climate change and green and sustainable growth.

The head of the Vietnamese Government urged the European Commission to soon withdraw the "yellow card" on Vietnamese seafood exports and to provide financial and technological support for the country's energy transition.

It also expects the EU to share information, experiences, and technologies and continue to engage in digital transformation, green growth, and circular economy projects with ASEAN countries and the Mekong River sub-region.

Regarding the South China Sea and Ukraine, Premier Chinh advocated peaceful solutions to resolve and settle the conflicts and restore stability and security for the sustainability of the regions.

Joint leaders’ statement

Member states of the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreed on December 14 to strengthen bilateral strategic ties for compliance with international laws, mutual interest, and fair cooperation to achieve the future of sustainable growth.

The joint leaders’ statement of the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit stated member states of the two blocks would strengthen partnerships in economic cooperation, trade, and supply chain as the foundation of the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement.

“We will promote sustainable and inclusive trade and investment… We aim to promote resilient, efficient, and environmentally, economically and socially sustainable global supply chain,” the joint statement stated.

“ASEAN also encourages the EU’s cooperation in programs aimed at developing, empowering and supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises which are the backbone of the ASEAN economy.”

“We will intensify our engagement on trade and economic issues and explore other avenues in the short and medium terms to promote cooperation in areas of mutual interest such as digital economy, green technologies, and green services and supply chain resilience while reaffirming a future EU-ASEAN FTA as a common long-term objective.”

Other solutions will improve transnational transportation, reduce the gap between regions and foster their growth, and strengthen co-working activities on climate change, digital transformation, energy transition, environmental protection, and combating illegal fishing.

The EU promised an investment package of 10 billion euros (US$10.6 billion) for implementing the Global Gateway strategy, which “develop quality infrastructure in line with international standards” in the ASEAN region.

 The EU-ASEAN Dialogue Relations was initiated in 1977. After 45 years, the relationship between the two blocks has reached new heights and accomplishments.

ASEAN and the EU were each other's third largest trading partners, with total bilateral trade of almost $269 billion in 2021. The EU was also the second largest investor in ASEAN, with a combined capital of $26.5 billion.