The ASEAN-EU ministerial meeting in Bangkok on 13-14 October was a quiet success although overshadowed by the death of the King of Thailand. The two sides reinforced their determination to deepen relations, had good discussions on common security challenges, and agreed to launch talks on a new Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement aimed at increasing flights between the two regions.
Ten EU foreign ministers made the journey to Bangkok with five on the ASEAN side. As Federica Mogherini was ill the EU delegation was led by Slovak Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajcak who reminded the meeting that the EU was the largest investor in the region and would continue pursuing its aim of bilateral FTAs with a view to a region to region FTA at a later date. He also promised that the EU would continue to support regional development including the Lower Mekong delta project.
By Fraser Cameron
Just a week after the issue of market economy status dominated the EU-China summit in Beijing, the Commission discussed on 20 July the results of the impact assessment undertaken by DG Trade.
The discussion focused on the political, economic and legal implications of a decision on MES which must be taken by the end of the year. For China the matter is clear. China was promised MES 15 years after it joined in 2001. There can be no arguing – the promise must be kept. For the EU there is a strong legal view that the Chinese are in the right and failure to grant China MES would result in a lengthy fight at the WTO which the EU would probably lose.
Developing Asia is expected to grow steadily despite external pressures and should meet earlier forecasts for 2016 and 2017, aided by resilience in the region's two largest economies—the People's Republic of China and India, says a new Asian Development Bank (ADB) study.
In an update of its flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2016, ADB kept its 2016 and 2017 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasts unchanged from its March estimates of 5.7% for each year.
On 19 October the EU-Asia Centre held a panel discussion on “The Future of EU-ASEAN Relations”. Opening the event Fraser Cameron, Director of the EU-Asia Centre, said that it was an auspicious time to organize this event as the EU and ASEAN ministers just held their biannual meeting in Bangkok.
EU-ASIA Centre is a think tank dedicated to promoting closer relations between the EU and Asia.
17 October 2016
6 October 2016
5 October 2016