Danish Foreign Minister Sees New Opportunities in South East Asia

Today, the 10 ASEAN countries are the third largest trade partner to the EU after the USA and China. It is important for Denmark and other EU countries to put more focus on trade with countries like Vietnam and Singapore in the future, Lene Espersen said during an EU-ASEAN meeting for Foreign Ministers in Madrid.

“The ASEAN countries are undergoing rapid economic development at the moment and a lot of opportunities will arise for European companies,” the Danish Foreign Minister said and underlined that it is important for Europe to have good economic and political ties to a region that in many ways sees the EU as a role model.

“The ASEAN countries don’t have the same political cooperation that we have in the EU but there are several important developments happening in that area. For example, the organization has set up a human rights’ commission, which the EU has been pushing for. Especially because of the situation in Myanmar where a military regime is ruling the population with an iron fist,” she says and makes a point that:

“It is important that the European countries adapt their economies and trade to fit the regions that are powering forward.”

The meeting between the EU and ASEAN is the first since the Lisboan Treaty came into effect.

ASEAN includes Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

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