Today, the European Commission announced new projects to advance the EU-ASEAN partnership on sustainable connectivity in the areas of higher education, civil aviation and intellectual property. The new bilateral initiatives include the Philippines Digital Economy Package and the EU contribution to the rehabilitation of the Lao National Road. European Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, made the announcement at the 24th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting taking place in Brussels on 2 February 2024. The Meeting is co-chaired by EU High Representative Josep Borrell and the Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo.
Commissioner Urpilainen said: “Connectivity is at the centre of the EU-ASEAN strategic partnership, leading to more prosperous, open and inclusive societies. Today’s Ministerial Meeting presents a perfect opportunity to deepen our ties on sustainable connectivity to drive the green and digital twin transition under Global Gateway. New projects on higher education, civil aviation, intellectual property, as well as bilateral initiatives like the transport corridor in Lao PDR and the Digital Economy Package for the Philippines contribute to achieving our common goals.”
Secretary-General of ASEAN, Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, said: “As one of ASEAN’s dialogue partners, the EU has been supporting ASEAN community building efforts. The existing cooperation will not only enrich ASEAN-EU Strategic Partnership but also enhance economic integration, promote people-to-people connectivity, and address environmental and climate change priorities for mutual benefit. We look forward to concrete regional projects in the areas of trade, higher education-TVET, intellectual property rights and civil aviation under the EU-ASEAN Sustainable Connectivity Package for the benefit of ASEAN and the EU.’’
The EU-ASEAN Sustainable Connectivity Team Europe Initiative further strengthens the cooperation between both regions in the areas including trade links and people-to-people connections with three new projects on:
- civil aviation to improve safety and sustainability by linking the EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement;
- higher education to support exchanges between the EU and ASEAN, boosting knowledge sharing;
- Intellectual Property Rights to enhance harmonisation and our economic ties.
In addition to these regional efforts, two bilateral initiatives as part of the Global Gateway Strategy in South-East Asia will promote the green and digital transition:
- with the Philippines Digital Economy Package, the EU aims to support the Philippines in becoming a digital connectivity hub in the region, expand Copernicus in South-East Asia, as well as tackle disaster risk management and climate change mitigation;
- the EU contribution to the rehabilitation of the Lao National Road 2, one of the main transport corridors connecting the landlocked Lao PDR to Vietnam and Thailand, that aims to improve regional and domestic trade and climate resilient transport connectivity.
The 24th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting follows up on the EU-ASEAN commemorative Summit of December 2022, during which the EU pledged to mobilise €10 billion for connectivity projects in ASEAN by 2027 under the Global Gateway investment strategy. Already €4.2 billion is being engaged.
To emphasise the centrality of ASEAN in the EU Indo-Pacific Strategy, ASEAN Foreign Ministers have also been invited to participate in the EU’s 3rd Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum, to be held on the same day.
Global Gateway is the EU's positive offer to reduce the worldwide investment disparity and boost smart, clean and secure connections in digital, energy and transport sectors, and to strengthen health, education and research systems.
The Global Gateway strategy embodies a Team Europe approach that brings together the European Union, EU Member States, and European development finance institutions. Together, we aim to mobilise up to €300 billion in public and private investments from 2021 to 2027, creating essential links rather than dependencies, and closing the global investment gap.
- Publication date
- 2 February 2024
- Directorate-General for International Partnerships