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November 21, 2007

Brunei Enjoys Trade Surplus With EU

Singapore - Asean and European Union (EU) are marking the 30th anniversary of formal relations this year and the Asean-EU Commemorative Summit will take place tomorrow during the 13th Asean Summit in Singapore.

In terms of trade and investment, the EU has a relatively high trade deficit with all developing Asean countries, whereas with Brunei it enjoys a trade surplus, and with Singapore, its trade is balanced. This is according to the EU-Asean Trade and Investment 2007 report.

In 2006, volume traded between EU and Brunei accounted for 0.3 billion euros out of 126.6 billion overall merchandise trade between Asean and the EU.

The EU is Brunei's 7th largest overall trading partner at an overall value of around 400 million euros. In fact, the EU accounts for 5.7 per cent of Brunei's total external trade purchasing three per cent of Brunei's exports and providing 14.3 per cent of its imports.

EU's trade relations with Brunei are in terms of monetary value not as strong as with most other Asean countries due to smaller size and particular nature of Brunei's economy, the report added.

In 2003-2005, EU's exports to Brunei saw a marked decline, but in 2006 the trend was reversed. EU's imports from Brunei more than doubled during the past four years.

EU's trade with Brunei has been strongly in surplus, with the latest figure from 2006 at 56 million euros. In 2006, Brunei ranked 143rd among EU's trading partners. The EU's total merchandise import from Brunei is concentrated in the sectors of machinery and transport equipment (53.7%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (40.7%). 

EU's exports to Brunei are mainly in the same sectors of machinery and transport equipment (44.5%) and miscellaneous manufactured articles (32.6%).

The EU is Asean's 2nd largest overall trading partner after the United States and ahead of Japan and China. In fact, the EU accounts for 11.7 percent of total external trade, purchasing 12.9 per cent of Asean's exports and providing 10.3 per cent of its imports.

Considering Asean as a single trading entity would give it a five per cent share of the EU's total external trade and puts it in fifth place, ahead of Japan, among EU's trade partners.

Asean's trade with the EU has been growing steadily over the past five years with an average annual growth rate of four per cent. The trade balance has been in deficit for the EU, but quite stably at around 27 billion euros.

Besides trade and investment, EUAsean relations have grown rapidly and expanded to cover a wide range of areas including political and security issues, economic and trade questions and social, cultural and development cooperation.

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