1st ASEAN-EU Business Summit opens in Jakarta

15:25, May 05, 2011      

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The first ASEAN-EU Business Summit opened in Jakarta on Thursday, giving business from ASEAN and the EU not only an opportunity to engage between themselves, but also to have dialogue with policy makers from both regions.

The Summit aims to enhance business networking and rising awareness about trade and investment opportunities in ASEAN and the EU, to identify market access opportunities and challenges, and to better facilitate trade and investment relations between the two sides with formulation of policy advice and recommendations to the ASEAN Governments and the European Commission.

Addressing an open session of the Business Summit, Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of ASEAN said that the summit is a product of long deliberation between the two sides, citing that the EU has been the No. 1 source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into ASEAN. "We all agree that the trade between us has been robust, although the year 2009 it dipped a little bit about 16 percent, but this year we are going up again, and it is very very encouraging".

Surin said 68 percent of all FDI into ASEAN at the moment is going into the service sector, and a lot of them are from Europe. He said the 30 years of Government-to-Government cooperation and exchange helped boost the private sector on both sides. "We very much welcome that there would be many more of this kind of business-to-business gathering among themselves and with the support of each government".

For his part, EU trade commissioner Karel De Gucht said the first-ever ASEAN-EU Business Summit provides an opportunity for creating business ties and the platform to engage with governments. "Regional integration, the development of an internal market and the commitment to the global trading system have made success to Europe for more than half a century," he said, "I witness the same here in the ASEAN region today".

Participants from the 9th Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner expressed their commitment to further strengthening trade relations and economic cooperation between ASEAN and the EU when they held the meeting in August 2010 in Vietnam. They agreed among others that an ASEAN-EU Business Summit would be held in 2011 to enhance business-to- business dialogue between the two sides.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:张茜)

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