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Jakarta Post

ASEAN, EU stress importance of regional partnership

  • Linda Yulisman

    The Jakarta Post

Phnom Penh   /   Mon, April 2 2012   /  09:00 am

The second joint business summit between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) kicked off in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on Sunday, with both organizations underlining the importance of continuing their strategic economic partnership.

Speaking in his opening remarks in the summit, ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said the EU countries had remained its key economic partners despite the financial crisis engulfing Europe that has spilled over to other parts of the world.

“Despite the economic uncertainty experienced globally, the EU has been a very important economic partner and is ASEAN’s second-largest trading partner after China,” he said, in reference to trade with the EU that reached US$208 billion in 2010, accounting for 10.2 percent of ASEAN’s total trade that year.

In terms of investment, Surin said, the EU had ...