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ASEAN | Brussels, 29 March 2012

EU-ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh set to strengthen trade and investment relations with South-East Asia

EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht heads to Phnom Penh today to meet with ASEAN economic ministers and attend the second ASEAN-EU Business Summit on April 1st. "The meeting with South-East Asia economic ministers and the second ASEAN-EU Business Summit this year underline our dedication to engage ASEAN member states and the private sector in the region in order to strengthen our economic ties," said Commissioner De Gucht. "Given the economic dynamism of the ASEAN region, I see considerable opportunities for working more closely together in the coming years."

Commissioner De Gucht will meet with the economic and trade Ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states during the annual ASEAN Economic Ministers summit where he will discuss possibilities to enhance trade and investment relations between the EU and ASEAN. He will also take part in individual meetings with his ASEAN colleagues to discuss bilateral trade issues.

In addition, the Business Summit will help promote dialogue between governments and the private sector as well as intensify business-to-business relations. The EU aims to open up new trade and business opportunities in this fast growing region and create strong partnerships which support ASEAN's economic integration.

The EU is increasing its economic ties with South-East Asia by opening negotiations for free trade agreements with Singapore and Malaysia in 2010 and remains open to start negotiating similar comprehensive free trade agreements with other partners in the region. These bilateral agreements are considered building blocks for a future free trade agreement with the whole region.

This year's events coincide with the 35th anniversary of the inception of official relations between the EU and ASEAN.


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN ) consists of ten member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. As a whole, ASEAN represents the EU's 5th largest trading partner with €206 billion of trade in goods and services. The EU is ASEAN's 3rd largest trading partner after China and Japan, accounting for around 10.7% of ASEAN trade. The EU is by far the largest investor in ASEAN countries, with EU companies accounting for an average of 20.6% FDI share during the period 2008-2010.

Fact and Figures EU-ASEAN
  • Trade in goods and services:

EU-ASEAN trade in goods (exports+imports): €161.7 bil. (2011)

EU-ASEAN trade in goods (exports+imports): €146.7 bil. (2010)

EU-ASEAN trade in commercial services (exports+imports): €44.3 bil. (2010)

EU-ASEAN trade in goods & commercial services (exports+imports): €191 bil. (2010)

  • FDI to ASEAN:

EU FDI outflows to ASEAN: €21.9 bil. (2010)

EU FDI outward stocks with ASEAN: €192.7 bil. (2010)

  • FDI from ASEAN:

EU FDI inflows from ASEAN: €9.1 bil. (2010)

EU FDI inward stocks from ASEAN: €67.9 bil. (2010)

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