Clean energy, rules-based world order on the agenda, as EU, ASEAN mark 45 years of relations

Secondly, the connectivity between Europe and Southeast Asia will be on the cards, with the two regions being each other’s third largest trading partner, said Mr Driesmans.

He added that there remains “a lot of untapped potential” to boost trade, especially with the expected growth of Southeast Asia.

Mr Driesmans cited the signing of the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement in October, the first of its kind between the two regions, as a step towards this goal.

The agreement, which involves 37 countries, is “a very big deal for our airline industry”, and also benefits customers travelling between Europe and Southeast Asia.
The third thing on the Brussels summit agenda is the upholding of a rules-based international order, said Mr Driesmans.

He said that both Europe and Southeast Asia are facing issues over security, and can work together to address them.

“If we work together jointly, we can be anchors of stability, of multilateralism, of a rules-based international order,” he said.


The EU is “delighted” that Indonesia will take over as chair of ASEAN next year, said Mr Driesmans, as the country is seen as a “like-minded partner” in multiple areas.

Indonesia forms a third of Southeast Asia’s population and a third of its gross domestic product, the ambassador said.

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