ASEAN: “EU ist ein wichtiger Partner” (E)

Brussels, 18.10.2013 – ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh delivered a keynote address this week at the “EU and ASEAN: Prospects for Future Cooperation” conference held in the Belgian capital. According to Minh, “the EU continues to be an important partner of ASEAN” and he took the opportunity to express ASEAN’s appreciation for the past and on-going ASEAN-EU cooperation programmes, which have contributed to supporting the ASEAN Community building and yielded mutual benefits.

At the Conference, Minh expressed the view that building upon the progress and significant achievements made, the ASEAN Community building and integration is set to be deepened and broadened further. The post-2015 ASEAN Community, while broadening and consolidating itself will also enhance its external relations. He added that ASEAN will continue to maintain its central role in maintaining peace, stability, economic prosperity and economic integration in the region and beyond.

The ASEAN Chief said ASEAN will continue to be a locomotive for open trade, investment and economic growth. He stated that ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 vision envisages further invigoration of ASEAN’s relations with dialogue partners. This invigoration, he said, is aimed at forging more effective, equal and meaningful partnerships, strengthening of ASEAN’s central position and leadership in the evolving regional architecture and more active and constructive involvement of ASEAN in global affairs of common interest and concern.

Minh also expressed the hope that the EU would continue to support ASEAN in pursuing its post-2015 agenda and advancing the ASEAN Community.

Minh was in Brussels upon the invitation of Didier Reynders, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and European Affairs of the Kingdom of Belgium. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belgium and the EU-Asia Centre at the Palace of Val Duchesse. The Conference was attended by prominent representatives from ASEAN and EU Member States, the European External Action Service, and think-tanks.

While in Brussels, Minh paid a courtesy call on Reynders and they exchanged views on ways and means to forge practical cooperation between ASEAN and Belgium as well as the context of ASEAN-EU dialogue relations framework.