Interview with EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht
The European Union is ASEAN’s largest export market and the Asian bloc’s second-biggest trading partner. The EU is also ASEAN’s biggest investor. In 2010, it injected around US$17 billion in the region. Still, there is a lot of untapped potential, according to Karel De Gucht, the EU’s trade commissioner, for both ASEAN-EU and EU-Cambodian trade ties. Economics Today asked him about the future of trade between the two regions and his thoughts on Cambodia’s investment climate.
You have talked about the establishment of a free-trade agreement between ASEAN and the EU. Why do you want to see such a deal?
The ASEAN and the EU are the two major regional integration initiatives in the world, making them natural partners. I am convinced that a region-to-region deal would bring the most advantages to both EU and ASEAN exporters, industries and consumers. Indeed, a regional FTA would provide businesses on both sides with access to a large market based on consistent conditions and enhance not only inter- but also intra-regional trade. In stepping up our trade relations, we would provide new opportunities for importers, exporters and consumers as well as stimulate growth in both economies.
For more information, please visit http://www.etmcambodia.com/blog.php?article=416
or Economics Today Magazine, Issue 119