EU-ASEAN News – December 2014

December 12, 2014 Comments (0) ASEAN

This Month
  • Public-Private Partnership – the EU is helping to shape the ASEAN connectivity agenda
  • ASEAN Summit
  • 15 Million for ASEAN Farmer Organisations
  • RESEARCH: A Study on Aquaculture Research in ASEAN
  • CUSTOMS: The benefits of an ASEAN Customs Transit System presented to Private Sector
  • National Trade Repository System development in Thailand
  • CIVIL AVIATION 1 – EU-ASEAN talk Open Skies
  • CIVIL AVIATION 2 – ASEAN talks Single Aviation Market
Public-Private Partnership – the European Union is helping to shape the ASEAN connectivity agenda

Manila, 16-17 November. Public-Private Partnership (PPP) IS one of the core concept of ASEAN’s connectivity agenda, given the need for enhanced infrastructure investment. Private participation can augment public capacity in providing infrastructure like transport, telecom, power and water, by providing technology, innovation and managerial competence. If applied properly, PPP give public authorities – and thus the community – greater value for money. The EU is actively helping ASEAN in realising this goal. A Workshop (Manila, 16-17 December 2014), funded by the EU ARISE programme and co-hosted by the EU, the Government of the Philippines, ASEAN and ERIA, will look at the capacities of each ASEAN member state in implementing PPPs and offer opportunities for meet-and-match with the private sector. The PPP guidelines for ASEAN – a non-binding framework – have been developed on the basis of OECD, ERIA and World Bank input. Fore further reading click here  
ASEAN Summit

Naypyitaw, 11-13 November. ASEAN held its 25th Summit and the traditional surrounding meetings: East Asia Summit (EAS), bilateral summits with India, Japan, the UN SG, Australia, the US, Korea and China, and an ASEAN+3 (China, Japan, and Republic of Korea) summit. The main output documents are the Naypyitaw Declaration and the concluding Chair Statement, as they provide some guidance to ASEAN’s future. Noteworthy is the flawless Myanmar performance as chair, at this Summit and throughout the year, keeping the member states interests together. The Summit endorsed the recommendation of a High Level Task Force looking into ASEAN’s institutional reform, to result in a stronger Secretariat and more resources. However, ASEAN’s governing principles, despite the expanded economic agenda, are expected to remain unchanged. The Summit confirmed the ASEAN Economic Community to start at the end of 2015. The elimination of tariffs is contrasted by the existence of non-trade barriers and the limited free flow of skilled labour. An ASEAN Institute for Green Economy shall be set up in Yangon. The Summit adopted a Joint Statement on Climate Change, including commitments to contribute according to “common but differentiated responsibilities” – altogether a welcome signal from a European perspective. 

In parallel, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council held its annual ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) at which the EU participated. The event confirmed larger and medium-sized regional business as the driver of ASEAN, calling for more ambitious integration efforts.
Brussels, 26 November. E-READI stands for Enhanced Regional EU ASEAN Dialogue Initiative. This EU facility allows funding for a variety of policy dialogues, studies, workshops and the like. The details are to be determined jointly by the EU and ASEAN. The European Commission has decided to fund the facility to the tune of 20 million Euro. Work shall effectively begin in late 2015. The current EU READI programme has developed into a flagship operation.
15 Million for ASEAN Farmer Organisations
15 million Euro has been granted by the EU Committee for Food & Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture to the ASEAN Farmers’ Organisations’ Support Programme (AFOSP). The objective is to improve the life and food security of small farmers and rural producers. Through their capacity-building and organization, they will also be able to influence national government and ASEAN policies. At least 87 Farmer Organisations, representing approximately 15 million farmers in ASEAN countries, will be able to combat poverty and to provide effective and safe services. This project comes in addition to the 170 million Euro already committed for ASEAN as part of the ASIA Multi-annual Indicative Framework 2014-2020.
ASEAN National Statistical Offices and ASEANstats visit EUROSTAT

LUXEMBOURG, 17-21 November. Eleven members of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS), from ASEAN Member States Statistical Offices and the ASEAN Secretariat went on a study visit to Eurostat funded by COMPASS.

The visit presented the organisation of the European Statistical System (ESS). Eurostat shared its knowledge and practice on the production and dissemination of statistics at different levels. Eurostat explained its institutional background, as well as its role in supporting the monitoring and evaluation of the European integration project. 

The exchange was essential to help the ASEAN Community Statistical System and national statistical systems in their task of strengthening the institutional framework and improving data quality and availability.
RESEARCH: A Study on Aquaculture Research in ASEAN
A study on aquaculture research in ASEAN has been conducted between June and August 2014 by Pedro B. Bueno, former Director General of the Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA).

The study highlights the significant Research and Development (R&D) in ASEAN in aquaculture, opportunities for investments and cooperation as well as future research issues. The report covers the ASEAN region with a particular focus on the countries more involved in aquaculture-related activities (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam).

The author shows opportunities in strengthening farmer-researcher cooperation, technical cooperation between ASEAN countries as well as public-private partnerships. The creation of an aquaculture innovation group could support research-industry links, improve productivity and food security. ASEAN Science and Technology (S&T) networks of excellence in aquaculture, start-up funding for aquaculture S&T initiatives and the maintaining of initiatives such as the ASEM Aquaculture Platform boost innovation in the sector.

According to Mr. Bueno, “the globalisation of aquaculture research and development […] has been the key to the modernisation of aquaculture […] and will continue to benefit from technical cooperation. […] In aquaculture, projects with the EU, especially the ones that are geared on trade, promoted the development of the entire aquaculture sector.” This calls for more inter-regional cooperation particularly with Europe.

The study was funded by the READI Facility. You can access the report here.
CUSTOMS: The benefits of an ASEAN Customs Transit System presented to Private Sector 
BANGKOK, 17 November. The Federation of Forwarders Associations (AFFA) held a workshop with the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA) to update on future plans and describe the legal and operational background of ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS). ARISE custom experts and the ACTS Project Manager presented their work, explained the system and the benefits it would provide to transporters in term of time and costs.
The ACTS pilot system will take eighteen months to develop, pilot testing will be done from April to October 2016. As part of the start-up activities for its software systems development, inception meetings have been conducted in the ACTS pilot countries Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The ACTS team briefed the project teams in each pilot country on the implementation of ACTS software, and discussed monitoring and communication plans for the next two years.
ACTS is funded by ARISE.
National Trade Repository System development in Thailand 
Bangkok, 27 November. ARISE was invited by the Government of Thailand to attend the Launch of the National Trade Repository of The Ceremony was attended, inter alia, by His Excellency the Minister of Commerce of Thailand and by the Director General of the Department of Trade Negotiations of Thailand. Thailand’s NTR is the first online repository to fully meet all the requirements under the ATIGA and to be fully based on the ATR/NTR structure proposed by ARISE and endorsed by ASEAN.

ASEAN Trade Repository is supported by ARISE.

Brussels, 2-3 December 2014. The EU-ASEAN Aviation Working Group met to share experiences in the integration of air transport and to explore future cooperation. There is strong interest on both sides to work on market liberalisation and regulatory convergence. The EU and ASEAN share concerns about increasing competition from so-called 6th-Freedom Carriers. The ASEAN side informed about existing air transport agreements and ongoing negotiations with third parties. The EU helps ASEAN with integrating the region’s air transport policy, through the AATIP project. The Working Group will meet next in the first half of 2015.

CIVIL AVIATION 2 – ASEAN talks Single Aviation Market

Yangon, 12-13 November. The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) organized a Conference on ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM). Around 80 executives attended from Myanmar DCA, as well as from the aviation sector and the tourism industry. The objective of the seminar was to measure the readiness of the aviation industry in Myanmar facing the future development of ASAM. In order to be better preparing its industry, Myanmar DCA intends to hold more information events such as this conference with the technical support of the ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP).

The ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project has now reached the mid-tem of its implementation phase. To further develop the simulation and modelling functions required to define Air Traffic Management improvements coping with rapid traffic growth in ASEAN, the project run a two-day workshop on capacity sector assessment hosted by Aero Thai in Bangkok on 26 and 27 November 2014.

The project is also happy to announce the launch of a regional ASAM conference to be held in Bangkok on 10 and 11 of March 2015. More information available here

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