June 7, 2007
EU spends $9.7 million to support integration process
The European Union (EU) has officially launched a 9.7 million USD
programme to support the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
regional integration process.
Addressing the launching ceremony in Jakarta, on June 6, representative
from the European Commission in Indonesia Rosamaria Gili said that the
ASEAN Programme of Regional Integration Support (APRIS) is also aimed at
strengthening bilateral ties between the two blocs.
Rosamaria said that the EU could do much to the ASEAN regional integration
process thanks to its successful integration experiences, particularly in
the creation of a common market.
The APRIS is aimed at reaching regional common norms in farm produce,
electronics, cosmetics and timbers. The programme will also prioritise the
streamlining of customs procedures, establish a regional transit programme
and build an action plan with the aim of promoting free investment
activities as well as help the ASEAN Secretariat settle disputes between
the bloc¡¦s member countries.
ASEAN General Secretary Ong Keng Yong hailed the launch of the programme,
saying it would help ASEAN member countries cope with obstacles in the
EU-ASEAN FTA talks. VNA