During her visit to Manila, EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström and ASEAN representatives agreed to take new steps towards resuming free trade talks between the EU and ASEAN.
Negotiations started in 2007, but differences in level of economic developments and openness between ASEAN members made the EU pursue the talks in separate settings with individual ASEAN members. So far, the EU has concluded, but not yet ratified, bilateral trade agreements with Singapore and Vietnam. Furthermore, the EU is pursuing negotiations with Indonesia, the Philippines and also, as regards investment protection, with Myanmar.
The EU is the most important investor in ASEAN and its second trading partner. With bilateral trade in goods worth more than 200 billion euros per year, ASEAN is the EU’s third trading partner.