Press Release : Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Attended the 22nd ASEAN - EU Ministerial Meeting news3

Press Release : Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand Attended the 22nd ASEAN - EU Ministerial Meeting

On 21 January 2019, H.E. Mr. Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, attended the 22nd ASEAN - EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss comprehensive cooperation between ASEAN and the EU and the future direction.

The Meeting agreed in principle to upgrade ASEAN - EU relations to a Strategic Partnership, with details and timing to be further discussed.  Both sides also discussed ways and means to promote their overall cooperation, including inter-regional connectivity, an early conclusion of the ASEAN - EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement by this year, and the resumption of ASEAN - EU Free Trade Agreement negotiations. Both sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues, such as the Korean Peninsula, South China Sea, the situation in Rakhine State, Ukraine, climate change, terrorism and rising trade protectionism.   

At the Meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand also presented    the theme of Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019, “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”, and elaborated on Thailand’s key priorities and concrete deliverables. Sustainable development cooperation is an issue of strategic importance for both ASEAN and the EU, and the Meeting expressed support for Thailand’s ASEAN Chairmanship as well as the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue later this year. The Meeting also welcomed the success of the inaugural High-level ASEAN - EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development hosted by Thailand in 2017 and looked forward to the second meeting in Brussels this year. This is also the first time in many years that the AEMM unequivocally expressed support to the theme of the ASEAN Chairmanship in its Joint Statement. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand also had bilateral discussions with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Malta and Bulgaria and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand invited EU Member States to invest in Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) project, updated his counterparts on the upcoming general elections in Thailand and shared information on the situation in Rakhine State. He also met with Mr. Neven Mimica, the EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, to discuss further cooperation on sustainable development.

The EU has been ASEAN’s Dialogue Partner for over 40 years. Both sides have taken turns to host the AEMM biennially. During its Coordinatorship for  ASEAN - EU Dialogue Relations between 2015 - 2018, Thailand hosted the 21st AEMM during 13 - 14 October 2016. Singapore, as a current Country Coordinator for ASEAN - EU Dialogue Relations, will host the next AEMM.