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April 14, 2008

ASEAN-EU/TRADE
EU eager to speed up talks

The European Union (EU) will speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Jakarta Post quoted an EU official on a visit to Indonesia Saturday.

"We have set the rather ambitious target of completing negotiations in about a year or a year and half, so we should be able to achieve some kind of outcome," said Karl Falkenberg, the European Commission's deputy director general for trade.

He added that the negotiations had made some progress since talks began in May 2007. Falkenberg also plans to hold talks with trade ministers of Brunei and the Philippines.


The EU, meanwhile, is holding a series of seminars to foster cooperation between the EU and Asean, the first of which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 19 and 20, with the focus on the telecommunications and financial services sectors.


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