Sign up | Log in



 22 Mar 2009

EU to change SE Asian trade policy

The European Union is poised to alter its Southeast Asia trade policy to deal with individual members of the Asean trade alliance rather than with the bloc as a whole, a senior official was quoted by AFP as saying Saturday.

The German daily Handelsblatt quoted EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton as saying: "The process with Asean up to now has been very slow. We must now check how we can move forward quicker with individual countries that are prepared to do so."

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) agreed with the EU to launch talks on a regionwide free-trade accord in May 2007.

But progress towards clinching a deal has since moved at a glacial pace due to a myriad of problems including European concerns over human rights violations in Asean member Myanmar.

Earlier this month, Indonesia's trade minister Mari Pangestu said Asean countries wanted a bloc-to-bloc free-trade pact but that nations were free to negotiate separate deals with the EU.

"If some countries are going to be approached for bilaterals, that's another issue ... that is their right to do it," she said.

Asean groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

An Asean-EU free-trade agreement would cover nearly one billion people, making it one of the world's largest.

According to IMF figures, trade between the EU and Asean countries amounted to over €140 billion (US$190 billion dollars), topped only by China.





Comment on this Article. Send them to

Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited

submit your comment in the box below 





1.  Verifier

1. Verifier

For security purposes, we ask that you enter the security code that is shown in the graphic. Please enter the code exactly as it is shown in the graphic.
Your Code
Enter Code

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Special Feature | Features | News | Magazine | Events | TV | Press Release | Advertise With us

| Terms of Use | Site Map | Privacy Policy  | DISCLAIMER |

Version 5.0
Copyright © 2006-2021 TIME INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT ENTERPRISES CO., LTD. All rights reserved.
Bangkok, Thailand