Two high-ranking delegations from the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland on March 14 worked with the ASEAN Secretariat, as part of their visits to Indonesia, with the aim to strengthen friendship and cooperation.

The UK delegation head Margot James, who is Vice Chairwoman of the Conservative Party, and Lim Hong Hin , Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community, exchanged views on the EU and ASEAN model of integration and how ASEAN could gain from EU experience.

Lim explained the association’s opinions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to UK parliamentarians.

He also briefed the delegation on the latest developments in ASEAN’s efforts and challenges faced in establishing an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. He went on to call for greater investment from EU member countries, including the UK , as well as the participation of European investors and businesses in the forthcoming Forum on ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement.

Lim also hosted a reception for Irish Minister of Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, who highly valued the role of ASEAN in the region.

The two sides discussed issues of mutual concern, with a focus on ASEAN’s integration process and connectivity, and measures to boost cooperation between the region, the EU and Ireland.-VNA