Impetus for a Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and the EU

Impetus for a Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and the EU

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and leaders of the ASEAN member states and the EU attended the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit, marking 45 years of relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU), held in Brussels, Belgium.

The ASEAN-EU Summit was the first high-level event between the two blocks. There were 27 European heads of state and governments plus the EU's two institutional presidents that met with all of the ASEAN leaders. The event has confirmed the importance of the relationship between two of the world's leading regional organizations.  It also shows that both sides attach great importance to and are strongly committed to promoting this partnership.

Over the past 45 years, the ASEAN-EU partnership has developed fruitfully. Last year, the 10-member group was the third largest trade partner of the EU outside Europe. Meanwhile, the EU was ASEAN’s third biggest trade partner with two-way trade reaching 268.9 billion US dollars. The EU was also the second biggest foreign investor in ASEAN with a total capital of 26.5 billion US dollars.

At the summit, the two sides agreed to deepen the strategic partnership that was established in 2020, on the basis of international law, and equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, and promote recovery and green, sustainable development.


The summit celebrating 45 years of ASEAN-EU relations: Photo: Duong Giang/VNA

The leaders pledged to pay more attention to enhancing economic and trade ties, and stabilizing the supply chain, while keeping the target of establishing a free trade agreement between ASEAN and the EU.

The two sides will also step-up connectivity through the implementation of the 2020 EU-ASEAN Joint Ministerial Statement on Connectivity and the EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, and work to narrow their development gaps.

They will cooperate in climate change response, digital transformation, energy transition, natural disaster management, environmental protection, bio-diversity, and the fight against illegal fishing.

The EU announced an investment package worth 10 billion euros under its Global Gateway strategy in ASEAN, the launch of the Sustainable Connectivity Team Europe Initiative, and the implementation of a program on environmental protection worth 30 million euros.


On the occasion of attending the ASEAN-EU Summit, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held 14 meetings with leaders of the EU, as well as ASEAN and EU member states. Photo: VNA

They stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, supporting dialogue and trust building, exercising self-restraint, not taking actions that would escalate tensions, and settling disputes by peaceful measures, in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). They called for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the building of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS.

The EU supports ASEAN's efforts to promote the implementation of the Five-Point Consensus on Myanmar. Discussing the conflict in Ukraine, the countries emphasized the basic principles of the United Nations Charter, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and international law. Accordingly, differences and disagreements should be resolved peacefully.

The success of the summit has contributed to further reinforcing the good cooperative relationship between ASEAN and the EU. It also further promotes trade and investment cooperation between ASEAN and the EU with the goal of harmonizing interests and sustainable development.


Story: VNP - Photos: VNA – Translated by Nguyen Tuoi