Asean European Union Free Trade Agreement

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In 2007, the Council authorised the Commission to negotiate a free trade agreement with ASEAN. Negotiations for a free trade agreement were launched as part of consultations between ASEAN-EU Economic Ministers (EMA) held in Brunei Darussalam the same year. However, trade negotiations were relatively slow and were finally paralyzed in 2009. The failure of the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement has paved the way for bilateral free trade agreements and the negotiation of Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs) with some ASEAN member countries. The EU concluded a free trade agreement (FTA) with Singapore in 2012 and is negotiating free trade agreements with several other ASEAN countries (Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia). Negotiations with Malaysia are well advanced. These agreements are stepping stones to a comprehensive agreement between the EU and ASEAN. of the EU, which removed them from any discussion between ASEAN and the EU. East Timor`s independence has ceased to weigh on ASEAN-EU relations. [11] The EU also funds trade-related regional projects, such as Singapore and Vietnam being the EU`s main trading partners in the region. Together, they account for around 45% of the EU`s total ASEAN trade.

The agreements will be a blessing for interregional trade and employment....