bilaterals.org logo
bilaterals.org logo

EU-ASEAN

The European Union was planning on a bilateral trade agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) for many years. On 4 May 2007, the two sides agreed to start negotiations.

The EU-ASEAN FTA is supposed to be a comprehensive agreement. While ASEAN states are hoping to gain additional market access in the EU, the agreement is expected to have a much bigger impact in strengthening business opportunities for European TNCs in the region.

The talks have moved slowly and it’s not clear if the final deal will take the form of separate agreements between the EU and individual ASEAN members, something the EU seems to prefer. This would allow European governments to avoid taking on any commitments that support the regime in Burma but also to deal with the economic heterogeneity among ASEAN members.

EU procedures require that all ASEAN countries sign a Partnership Cooperation Agreement, containing a commitment to human rights, as a prerequisite to an FTA. Indonesia has already concluded its PCA with the EU, Singapore and Thailand are in advanced stages of negotiations, and Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei are soon to begin. The Philippine government stated early on that it expects problems in negotiating a PCA, as the agreement apparently requires that the signatory state join the International Criminal Court.

Click here for the European Commission’s page on the EU-Indonesia FTA

last update: May 2012


Indonesia gets Rp 232 billion grant from EU to ease trade negotiations
The European Union has granted Indonesia Rp 232 billion (US$16.37 million) through a program dubbed ARISE+ Indonesia to improve trade conditions and capacity between 2019 and 2023.
EU vs. Indonesia: Is it really a trade war?
The European Union has slapped countervailing tariffs on imports of subsidized biodiesel from Indonesia. The southeast Asian country has threatened to retaliate but experts say counter tariffs could be self-destructive.
Enhanced market access to US just pie in the sky
Enhanced access for products of Pakistan’s export interest, particularly textile and clothing, to the United States market has been a long-standing demand of both the government and private sector.
EU-Vietnam trade deal shows EU will bend human rights standards if the price is right
The new EU-Vietnam free trade agreement (FTA) shows the EU will look past human rights violations to push a trade agenda. But as FTAs with ASEAN states don’t offer the EU the same economic benefits, it’s unlikely the bloc will pen more in the near future.
EU seems to have forgiven Thai military ruler
EU is gaining a reputation in Southeast Asia for being hypocritical. Clearly, now, pragmatism is coming before principles, and values are to be provisional to trade policy.
EU struggles to strike trade pacts with major ASEAN countries
Sticking points could hinder other deals, as Vietnam gains from recent agreement
Thai-EU free trade talks set to resume after hiatus
Thailand is returning to the negotiating table for a Thai-European Union (EU) free-trade agreement (FTA) after the green light was given by the new government.
Report of the 8th round of negotiations for a FTA between the EU and Indonesia
The eighth round showed continued progress, with further text consolidation in most chapters under negotiation.
Vietnam: New free trade agreement with EU strengthens IP protection
Vietnam’s full compliance with the EVFTA will require a comprehensive review and amendment of its intellectual property law.
Vietnam FTA: EU is more pragmatic than principled
The EU’s deal with Vietnam is considered hypocritical by many Asian nations.