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Sunday, April 10, 2011

ASEAN, EU To Hold First-Ever Business Summit

VIVAnews - The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU) will hold their first-ever Business Summit on 5 May 2011 in Jakarta, one day before the 10th annual ASEAN-EU Economic Ministers Consultation and two days before the ASEAN Summit.

Hosted by the Indonesia Chair of ASEAN and the European Union, the ASEAN-EU Business Summit will be opened by the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

"The ASEAN-EU Business Summit is a high-level forum for business and government to address critical issues related to EU-ASEAN trade relations, while identifying new business and investment opportunities on both sides," says Mari E. Pangestu, Indonesian Minister for Trade and ASEAN Economic Ministers Chair.

"The event will also help to ensure that the business community and governmental decision makers are listening to each other," she continues.

EU Ambassador to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN, Julian Wilson, emphasizes that the ASEAN-EU Business Summit next month is an exciting milestone in the relationship between the two regions.

"It is a unique opportunity for ASEAN and EU companies to meet their ASEAN and EU ministers and to explore and expand the huge commercial relationship that binds our two regions," says Wilson.

The EU and ASEAN are crucial trading and investment partners. Trade between the two regions now tops 147 billion euro. The EU is ASEAN's second largest trading partner and is the biggest foreign investor in ASEAN.

At the Summit, leading EU and ASEAN companies will discuss the opportunities and concerns in five main areas - infrastructure (including transport and logistics), agri-food, healthcare (including pharmaceuticals), automotive and services (including telecoms and finance).

Participating companies will directly present and discuss their conclusions with the ten ASEAN Trade and Economic Ministers and the EU Commissioner for Trade, Karel De Gucht.

The conclusions of the Business Summit will be presented to the annual ASEAN-EU Economic Ministers Consultation which will take place the following day, enabling business leaders to directly impact on EU and ASEAN governments' decisions.

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