On March 8, senior economic officials from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) met to prepare for the 12th ASEAN Economic Ministers and EU Trade Commissioner consultations and the upcoming 3rd ASEAN-EU Business Summit on March 9 in Hanoi.

The event took place in the framework of the 19th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting.

According to a representative from the EU delegation, Helena Konig, participants highly valued both sides’ achievements over the last two years.

Cooperation plans for the next two years and a mechanism to share and support information between the two sides were discussed at the event.

Both sides offered initiatives to provide the two sides’ experts an opportunity to share experience and boost the EU and ASEAN’s integration to help build the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, added Konig.

At the event, the officials discussed bilateral economic and trade ties, and the implementation of the economic and trade cooperation programme between ASEAN and the EU.

They approved an agenda that will be reported to ASEAN economic ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner, and discussed suggestions raised at the previous ASEAN and EU Business Summit.

In 2012, the EU topped the list of FDI investors in ASEAN and was the third largest trading partner in ASEAN.

The EU is Vietnam’s second largest trading partner and leading importer of Vietnamese commodities.

By October last year, the EU had 1,781 FDI projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of 33.4 billion USD.-VNA