On 5 August 2015 Norway was officially invited to enter into formal partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Norway will be the first country in Western Europe to enter into such a formal partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“I welcome this partnership, which will give us access to important political arenas and enhance the opportunities for Norwegian companies in Southeast Asian markets,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.
Mr Brende attended as a guest at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ASEAN has ten member states with a total population of around 620 million. In 2014, the ASEAN countries – taken together – were Norway’s fourth largest trading partner and home to the highest concentration of Norwegian companies operating abroad.
‘ASEAN is playing an increasingly important role regionally and globally, both in political and economic terms. Together, the ASEAN countries have the world’s fourth largest economy, and the association aims to launch a common internal market by the end of 2015. Norway’s partnership with ASEAN is therefore good news for Norwegian companies,’ said Mr Brende.