After six years of talks, the European Union and the ASEAN group of ten Southeast Asian countries upgraded their relations from "dialogue" to "strategic partnership" at a meeting on Tuesday (1 December).
As the EU's climate goals become increasingly ambitious, it should engage more proactively with Southeast Asian countries (ASEAN) to reassure them that the bloc's green targets are not trade protectionism in disguise and ensure a sustainable COVID recovery globally.
Southeast Asia and Europe stressed the importance of pushing back against protectionism and the threat of global trade wars on Friday (3 August), as their ministers work towards the eventual goal of a region-to-region free trade pact.
South East Asian countries are dragging their feet on a free trade agreement (FTA) with the EU, with officials saying that the countries still need to be convinced of the benefits of the region-to-region deal.
The European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said today (10 March) the two blocs would try to revive plans for a trade deal, as European countries look to tap the region's strong growth.