VN co-hosts ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting
15:39 | 24/07/2014

VGP - The 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, with the theme “Towards Strategic Partnership for Peace, Stability and Prosperity”, was held from July 22-23 in Brussels, Belgium.

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh (second to the left) at the 20th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, Brussels, Belgium, July 23, 2014

Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh and EU Commissar for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Ashton co-chaired the event.

Orientation for ASEAN-EU relations

The two sides highly valued achievements in the ASEAN-EU relations over the past 37 years, agreeing to broaden the relationship more comprehensively.

In 2013, the ASEAN-EU two-way trade turnover reached US$242.6 billion. The EU has poured US$23.3 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in ASEAN, accounting for 22% of the total FDI in the grouping.

They were unanimous in raising two-way trade further, especially resuming ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations beyond 2015.

The two sides agreed to organize ministerial-level economic consultations and propose measures to launch the 2013-2014 Action Plan on Trade and Investment effectively.

On enhancing connection and assistance for ASEAN to establish its own Community, the EU has established a cooperation mechanism with the bloc in connecting its members through the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. 

The EU will double its development assistance for ASEAN to €170 million for the 2014-2020 period, much higher than €70 million in the 2007-2013 phase. They will focus on realizing the Plan of Action to Implement Nuremberg Declaration on an Enhanced ASEAN-EU Partnership in 2013-2017.

ASEAN-EU Declaration on East Sea highlighted

Speaking at the meeting, Commissar for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission Catherine Aston expressed her deep concern over the current complicated tension in the East Sea.

The EU respects the guaranty of regional peace, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the sea and asked the parties concerned to exercise restraint, avoid the use of or threat to use force so as to peacefully settle disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

It  also asked the parties concerned to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Se (DOC) towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

As regards to the MH17 plane crash, ASEAN and the EU issued a joint statement asking for further investigation to bring the culprits to light.

Enhancing ASEAN-EU relations to Strategic Partnership

In his speech, Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh highly spoke of the development in the ASEAN-EU cooperative relations, confirming that the two sides need to bring into full play achievements and potentials towards Strategic Partnership relationship.

He treasured assistance of the EU in supporting ASEAN to establish an ASEAN Community, hoping that ASEAN and the EU will strengthen economic and trade cooperation.

The Deputy PM highly valued the EU’s issuance of the Declaration on the East Sea and suggested ASEAN and the EU promote their role in highlighting principles on settling disputes, exercising restraint, avoiding the use or threat to use force, seriously complying with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS and the DOC.

By Thuy Dung

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