23/03/2016 14:39 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

EU supports 50 million euros for ASEAN integration process

Kuala Lumpur, March 23 (VNA) – The EU will allocate 50 million EUR (56.1 million USD) to consolidate integration and facilitate trade for ASEAN, said EU Ambassador to ASEAN Francisco Fontan Pardo.

The EU will come up with new funds and ideas to support the ASEAN secretariat in the next four to five years, Fontan Pardo told the press in Kuala Lumpur during his first visit to Malaysia on March 22.

“The funds will be used for economics, trade, environment and people-to-people relations such as human rights,” he said.

Biodiversity and climate change issues are also among the EU’s main focuses. It plans to inject 20 million EUR (22.4 million USD) for the cause and additional 10 million EUR (11.2 million USD) for biodiversity preservation in Southeast Asia.

As the EU and ASEAN are strong trading partners and primary sources of investment in the regions, the EU has an interest in ASEAN’s success, the EU ambassador said.

Regarding the “open sky” plan between the two sides, he stressed that European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc wants to start negotiations on the ambitious plan, adding that the EU is seeking agreement from ASEAN member states.

On the EU-Malaysia free trade agreement, Fontan Pardo said that the two sides are ready to resume talks after putting them on hold, as Malaysia made a lot of efforts to conclude ­Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
VNA/VNP