2012 ASEAN – EU Business Summit in Cambodia

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations held its 2012 ASEAN – EU Business Summit (AEBS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The event, which took place on Sunday 1 April, was organized by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, the European Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia, the EU Delegation to Cambodia and the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. More than 500 business leaders from ASEAN and EU showed up.

The Cambodian Prime Minister; Samdech Decho Hun Sen welcomed participants and officially opened the event, acknowledging the importance of trade and investment between the two regions, and promoted the establishment of more free trade agreements between the regions.

EU Commissioner De Gucht announced the start of bilateral talks on a free trade agreement with Vietnam at the summit and confirmed that regional free trade agreements remain a priority for the European Union.

The 2012 AEBS brought entrepreneurs, investors and public policy-makers from both the EU and ASEAN where they discussed key issues related to ASEAN-EU trade relations while identifying new business and investment opportunities on both sides.

The summit had convened over 350 regional and international business leaders. With an eye on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) planned for 2015, the private sector panels and working groups have made concrete recommendations to the responsible ministers to move forward with an open and improved ASEAN market in logistics, manufacturing, services and ICT, and Agri-business.

ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, EU Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht, and Cambodian Minister of Commerce and Chairman of ASEAN Economic Ministers, H.E. Senior Minister Cham Prasidh, hosted the event which was regarded a great success by the participants and organisers.

Cambodian host to the event, H.E. Cham Prasidh, thanked the summit organizers and participants for their expert input into the policy making process, and promised detailed answers to the discussions from the ASEAN economic ministers within the next two months.

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