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ASEAN
EU
ASEAN (top) and the EU (below)

The European Union-ASEAN relations refers to bilateral foreign relations between the two organizations, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Meetings

There are annual meetings between the EU and the ASEAN Plus Three however relations have been strained with ASEAN since Burma (Myanmar) joined the group, which is facing EU pressure over human rights abuses by its military regime. The European Union threatened to boycott an EU-ASEAN meeting when Myanmar was due to take over the presidency of ASEAN, Myanmar eventually gave up the presidency.[1] Democracy and human rights is a consistent dividing line between the two blocs, a delegation of MEPs were refused to allow to speak on democracy during a trip in 2007.[2] However there has been some co-operation: in 2003 the EU and ASEAN agreed to share intelligence on anti-terror matters.[3]

Trade

The EU is ASEAN's second largest trading partner (11.7%) in 2006 and 13% of ASEAN exports end up in the EU making the EU ASEAN's second largest export market. In 2006, EU-ASEAN trade represented 5% of total world trade. The EU is ASEAN's 2nd largest trading partner, accounting for 11.7% of ASEAN trade (2006). ASEAN is the EU's 5th largest trading partner, accounting for €127 billion of EU trade. Trade growth is currently at 4% and EU exports have mainly been chemical products, machinery and transport equipment while ASEAN is mainly exporting machinery and transport equipment, as well as chemicals, textiles and clothing. The EU is also the largest investor in ASEAN, with EU companies channeling €5.1bn a year between 2003 and 2005 (27% of ASEAN's FDI). THE EU has been pursuing a free trade agreement with ASEAN since 2007.[4]

References

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