Europe-Asean trade bloc sees bumper years aheadBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The EU-Asean Business Council (EABC) sees a significant growth of trade and investments between Europe and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which includes the Philippines, in the years ahead.
In a statement, European Union Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht highlighted the increasing importance of Asean to Europe’s economy.
“The EU and Asean are both real powerhouses in international trade terms. And so it makes real business and political sense to see us working more closely together as that will see our companies go from strength to strength,” De Gucht said during the second annual summit held in Cambodia.
Attended by more than 300 business leaders from Europe and Southeast Asia, the summit became a platform where the EU and Asean mapped trade and investments plans.
The Philippines, which was represented in the summit by European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines treasurer Cyril Rocke, said relationships between Asean member countries and Europe would have to be strengthened further.
“Europe matters. Contrary to common perception, European companies are not just looking to China for potential investments. Trade and investments to Asean member countries have been steadily increasing over the past few years,” Rocke said.
Europe is currently the largest destination of exports from Asean with shipments valued at more than $113.8 billion last year.
EABC was created in May 2011 in Jakarta by European business chambers from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=54181