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De Gucht meets with ASEAN Ambassadors
Thursday, 18 November 2010 15:07    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail
ABC_with_Commissioner_De_Gucht_1 EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht meets with ASEAN Ambassadors in Brussels

Brussels, 16 November 2010 -   Deepening trade and economic cooperation and enhancing relations between ASEAN and the European Union (EU) are the highlights of the informal lunch meeting hosted by the Ambassadors of ASEAN Brussels Committee for EU Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht today at the Hotel Sofitel. Chaired by His Excellency the Philippine Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Mr. Enrique Manalo, the meeting marked the first time that the ASEAN Ambassadors met  with Mr. De Gucht as EU Trade Commissioner since he assumed office in February this year from his previous post as the Belgian Foreign Minister.

"We are very happy for having this opportunity to meet with the EU Trade Commissioner considering the importance of trade and economic cooperation in ASEAN-EU overall relations",  remarked Ambassador Manalo who steered the discussion towards exchanging views in further enhancing trade and economic linkages between the two active and fast-growing regions in the world.  He underscored the importance for EU to increase its presence not only in ASEAN but in the bigger Asian region in view of developments occurring in the global arena.   Ambassador Manalo, along with other ASEAN Ambassadors, held fruitful discussion with the Commissioner on various issues such as trade, investments, economic cooperation projects, and the renewed EU trade policy published on 9 November 2010.

 Commissioner De Gucht was appreciative of ASEAN's efforts in fostering dialogues with the EU. He said the EU is committed to strengthening relations with ASEAN not only in light of large trade volumes between the two regions but also of EU's vital interests in ASEAN.  The EU official said he is looking forward to engaging more bilateral negotiations on free trade agreements with individual ASEAN member countries which he said will create the building blocks for a region-to-region FTA.

 The Commissioner also mentioned the importance of concluding the Doha Development round particularly its role in providing the legal framework in the world trading regime.  On the new EU trade policy, he assured that it will not upset existing ASEAN-EU trade and economic relations and in fact, will help open world markets and even its own EU market thus increasing trade exchanges.

 The ASEAN Ambassadors and the EU Trade Commissioner committed to continue their dialogue and keep communication channels open in order to further deepen cooperation between their regions.

 

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