Competitiveness of the ASEAN Countries
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Competitiveness of the ASEAN Countries

Corporate and Regulatory Drivers

Edited by Philippe Gugler and Julien Chaisse

In an age of increased necessity for competitiveness of nations and at a time when the world economy is facing recession, this book explores the possible trajectory of ASEAN – arguably one of the most dynamic areas in the world – as a regional economic and political bloc. The expert contributors address the industrial competitiveness of ASEAN and analyse the role of MNEs against the background of the challenges of integration. They illustrate that regional integration will only be a success if ASEAN’s linkages are broadened with global partners through negotiations of Free Trade Agreements. The book concludes that although much still remains to be done, and many promises are still to be unveiled, ASEAN’s ‘coming of age’ is an historic milestone.
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Chapter 12: ASEAN–EU FTA Negotiations: Waiting for Godot?

Ludo Cuyvers, Lurong Chen and Philippe de Lombaerde


Ludo Cuyvers, Lurong Chen and Philippe De Lombaerde INTRODUCTION Mutual trade interdependence between Asia and Europe has shown a clearly rising trend over recent years (Gavin and Sindzingre 2009). The European Union (EU) as a whole represents ASEAN’s third largest trading partner after the United States (US) and Japan. ASEAN is expected to grow 5.4 per cent in 2009, compared to 6.5 per cent in 2007. As underlined in Chapter 1, by Julien Chaisse and Philippe Gugler, ASEAN and wider Asia can become a reliable engine of a global rebound from the current crisis and slowdown. For the EU, ASEAN as an entity is its fifth largest trading partner. Total trade between the two blocs amounted to 127 billion euro in 2006. The main exports from ASEAN to the EU are machinery, agricultural products, chemicals, and textiles and clothing. The main imports include chemicals and machinery and transport equipment. Whereas ASEAN shows a surplus in merchandise trade, the EU shows a surplus in services trade. Flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the EU to ASEAN are still recovering after the fall due to the financial crisis of 1997–98 but the EU as an entity is the largest investor in ASEAN countries (accounting for around 25 per cent of total inward FDI) (ECORYS 2009a: 5). Since 2000, trade and investment issues have been discussed at the Ministerial (EC and ASEAN Economic Ministers) and official (Senior Economic Officials’ Meeting) levels between the European Commission and ASEAN. The EU has stressed,...

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