EU-ABC Publishes 2016 Business Sentiment Survey: European businesses planning expansion in ASEAN, confident of profit outlook
European businesses are planning to expand their investment and operations in ASEAN as the region grows in global importance and ASEAN profits increase, according to the second annual EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey, published on 1st September by the EU-ASEAN Business Council.
Commenting on the Survey, EU-ABC Chairman, Donald Kanak said: “It is clear that European businesses are optimistic and are investing for future growth in ASEAN. At a challenging time for the global economy, South East Asia is an economic bright spot and European companies are keen to invest in the region’s rapidly developing consumer market and increasingly integrated production base. The survey shows strong support for a substantive and meaningful EU-ASEAN FTA to support sustained European investment in the region, and the EU-ASEAN Business Council urges leaders from the EU and ASEAN to work together toward that end, and in the meantime the rapid conclusion of bilateral FTA negotiations between the EU and ASEAN Member States.”
EU-ABC Meets ASEAN Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors - Launches Papers on Insurance and Customs Issues
On 4th April in Vientiane the EU-ASEAN Business Council met ASEAN Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to discuss a number of issues connected to trade facilitation and liberalisation of financial services in South East Asia.
The EU-ABC delegation in particular raised issues connected with the liberalisation of the insurance market in ASEAN and moves to increase insurance penetration and coverage across the region as well improve financial inclusion and literacy rates. It published a paper, Partnering with ASEAN to Close the Insurance Protection Gap, and had an in depth discussion on the topics raised in the paper. A copy of the press release that accompanied the paper launch can be found here.
Additionally the EU-ABC took time to raise with the Ministers a number of trade and custom facilitation issues, making several short-term and medium-term recommendations that, if implemented, would in particular help ASEAN SMEs trade across borders and ease the flow of goods in the region. A paper, Customs and Trade Facilitation in ASEAN, was also released. A copy of the press release related to this paper can be found here.
EU-ABC Launches New Position Paper on the AEC: Meets ASEAN Economic Ministers and European Trade Commissioner
On 3rd March in Chiang Mai, Thailand, a delegation from the EU-ASEAN Business Council met both the European Trade Commissioner, Cecilia Malmstrom, and the ASEAN Economic Minsters in order to present its thoughts on the new AEC Blueprint 2025 and to make some recommendations to ASEAN for advancing the objectives under the AEC. The EU-ABC’s position paper can be found here.
Commenting on the EU-ABC’s meeting with the AEM, EU-ABC Chairman Francois Guibert said: “ASEAN is a hugely important region for European Businesses – the EU is still the largest souce of foreign direct investment in ASEAN. It also remains ASEAN’s second largest trading partner. 2015 was important year for the region leading to the inauguration of the ASEAN Economic Community, and the EU-ABC is a strong supporter of this crucial project for the region. 2016 takes on special importance as the advances made in the AEC need to be bedded in and then deepened further. Today we presented a number short-term recommendations, with a focus on trade facilitation, financial services and investment issues that we believe could make a tangible difference to the ASEAN region and help advance the achievement of the goals set out in the AEC Blueprint 2025.”
A copy of the press release that accompanied the launch of the EU-ABC’s paper can be found here.