Recent Developments in ASEAN

It’s been a busy time for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, particularly Thailand, being one of its most active members. While its main focus is to foster international free trade between its member states, ASEAN, of course, will not leave its external partners behind.

This is evident when the body has met with two of its partner states, Germany and Turkey, to reaffirm their commitments to existing agreements. 

Germany

On 23rd of this month, Peter Schoof visited the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia to enter into a meeting with delegates of the 11-state body and their permanent representatives. Under the leadership of the Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, the meeting discussed how Germany and the Association could extend their mutual cooperation until 2022.

Schoof, the German Ambassador to the ASEAN, confirmed his country’s commitment to assisting the ASEAN member states in various areas of cooperation. These include:

  • Environmental concerns, particularly climate change and what measures both bodies can undertake to slow down natural disasters.
  • Investment in MSMEs or micro, small and medium-sized startup businesses.
  • Cooperation in safeguarding the agricultural industries through mutual trade and development.
  • Improving the quality of education in ASEAN
  • Improving the ongoing development and growth in each member state in order to reduce the growth gap between each country.

Among others, Germany, one of the world’s top authorities in criminal investigations and counter-terrorism, pledged to provide help to the member states in combating terrorism and organized crime. Both sides also agreed to share vital information that can help spur the spread of crime and terrorism.

Turkey

On the other hand, Turkey’s Ambassador to the ASEAN Mahmut Erol Kilic also paid a visit to the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta in July 19th.

The purpose of the visit was to discuss how to further extend cooperation between the Association and the Republic of Turkey over matters of mutual interest, from this year until 2023. Kilic, together with his own delegates, met with the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN, headed by ASEAN’s Deputy Secretary-General for Political-Security Community Department Hoang Anh Tuan.

The meeting discussed new ways of fostering support and cooperation between Turkey and the ASEAN states in the following areas:

  • Disaster response and management
  • Sustainable and environment-friendly development
  • Development of renewable energy sources in the region
  • Bilateral trade and investment
  • Support for studies in the science and technology sectors
  • Tourism and entrepreneurship

More importantly, Turkey and the ASEAN have solidified their future mutual cooperation with the establishment of a dedicated trust fund. This fund will be used to bring into reality any future projects between the two parties. With this fund in hand, both parties can ensure quick and easy facilitation of projects geared towards mutual development.

The meeting resulted in the establishment of a solid roadmap of cooperation to be followed for the next five years.

ASEAN and its partners remain committed to their goals of international cooperation, mutual development and mutual security. With these two agreements with Turkey and Germany in place, we can expect more exciting developments that should help make ASEAN a more viable place for investment in the next five years.

 

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