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EU-ASEAN News – February 2015

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February 24, 2015 Comments (0) ASEAN, EU-ASEAN News

Upcoming Event: soon everyone can fly more easily and cheaper

2015 is a major milestone in the making of an ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM). Once the “5th freedom” – the right to fly between two foreign countries – is adopted, it will mark an important step towards a region with liberalised air transport.

The ASEAN Air Transportation Integration Project (AATIP) is funded by the European Commission to help the ASEAN Secretariat and Member States in putting in place the ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM). It will host a regional conference on the impact of ASAM (10-11 March 2015, Bangkok) under the theme: “Liberalisation of the Aviation Sector and Development of a Single Aviation Market”.

The Conference will review the impact of liberalisation on the aviation industry and the role of government agencies and civil aviation authorities. Five panel discussions will check the reality of ASAM; the perspectives of both low cost and “legacy” carriers; the impact of ASAM on maintenance organisations; and the impact on the institutional framework.

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This month’s topics

ASEAN – EU Joint Cooperation Committee meets in Jakarta

ASEAN, the EU and Germany outline cooperation post-2015

EU and ASEAN advance cooperation on Climate Change and Disaster Management

ARISE responds to ASEAN’s needs in Trade Facilitation

ASEAN is getting ready for its Single Aviation Market – and the EU is part of the story

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ASEAN – EU Joint Cooperation Committee meets in Jakarta

Jakarta, 5 February 2015. The annual Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting is about politics, trade and mostly about cooperation.

This year’s JCC evaluated ASEAN–EU workings and agreed to implement programmes in the three areas of (i) regional integration and connectivity, (ii) climate change and disaster management, and (iii) policy dialogue.

The JCC was a good occasion for the EU to again confirm its strong commitment to help narrowing the development gap among ASEAN members and to assist ASEAN with its own integration. The EU budget for bilateral cooperation with the less developed ASEAN members reaches € 1,705 million, while financing of cooperation with ASEAN is now at € 170 million for 2014-2020.

The EU’s “Action Tracker” and ASEAN’s “cooperation matrix” both confirm solid progress in the various cooperation programmes undertaken so far.

The EU and ASEAN share an interest in an ambitious region-to-region Free Trade Agreement. Likewise, an EU-ASEAN air transport agreement is on the radar screen. Consultations on the latter have already started.

Connectivity is the word to remember when thinking integration: the EU offers the Asia Investment Facility (AIF), an instrument to blend commercial and preferential financing with a grant element, thus helping with infrastructure programmes otherwise difficult or impossible to finance.

The EU and ASEAN are looking ahead to creating a strategic partnership between both families. This follows the pledge made by Foreign ministers last year to upgrade the relationship.

More information here.

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ASEAN, the EU and Germany outline cooperation post-2015

Jakarta, 3 February. Coordination of cooperation activities among Europeans makes sense. For the first time, the EU Delegation and the German Embassy discussed cooperation with ASEAN along sectoral lines. The day-long meeting was opened by Mr Tran Dong Phuong, Director of the Finance, Industry and Infrastructure at the ASEAN Secretariat, Dr Thorsten Hutter, Deputy Head of the German Embassy, and Mr Andreas List, EU Senior Coordinator for ASEAN.

Among the 80 participants from ASEAN Secretariat and various ASEAN associated entities, EU delegation and a number of EU projects as well as representatives from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Embassy in Jakarta, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) participated into the discussions.

A range of issues was discussed, like communication and outreach of ASEAN policies and activities; coordination among ASEAN bodies and knowledge-sharing; monitoring of implementation; and stronger institutions with adequate resources. Clearly, streamlining of ASEAN policies with national policies will help narrowing the development gap among member states. The recommendations will be taken into account in the design of projects post-2015.

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EU and ASEAN advance cooperation on Climate Change and Disaster Management

Los Banos, Philippines, 15-16 December 2014. Harnessing climate change is one of the three areas of EU-ASEAN Cooperation for 2014-2020. The EU and ASEAN are using an innovative set-up to identify and formulate programmes: the so-called Joint Programme Design Team (JPDT) on Climate Change and Disaster Management met recently in Los Banos. The team is composed of experts from ASEAN Ministries of Environment, the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, and the EU Delegation to ASEAN. The team agreed to allocate €30 million – of an earmarked total of €50 – for two projects:

  • Sustainable Peatland Management & Haze Mitigation. The EU will strengthen the capacity of ASEAN to manage its peat lands with €20 million. Germany will chip in another €4 million. That money should be well spent: annual burning of peat lands is estimated to emit 2 billion tonnes of CO2.
  • ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) and ASEAN Heritage Parks. The EU assists ASEAN efforts to fight the loss of biodiversity with €10 million.

The formulation process of both projects will continue throughout 2015.

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ARISE responds to ASEAN’s needs in Trade Facilitation

Jakarta, 9-10 February.  The EU ARISE programme is making life easier for reliable trading companies and for Customs. This is the purpose of the “Authorized Economic Operator Scheme”. AEO Companies recognised as trustworthy are being rewarded by an official accreditation with Customs authorities. Accreditation is granted on condition that the trader ensures the security of the international supply chain, and correctly declares Customs duties and taxes.  As a result, Customs trusts the operator and performs fewer inspections of goods imported or exported by that AEO. This benefits the companies – faster clearance and lower costs. Customs also benefit as their inspection capacity can be targeted at unknown and potentially unsafe cargo.

ASEAN Customs Authorities have committed to establishing AEO programmes. In response to the needs expressed by them, ARISE organised a training for trainers.

ARISE is also  working with the Asian Development Bank and the WCO to support the further development of AEO programmes and to promote the development of AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangements between ASEAN Member States.

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ASEAN is getting ready for its Single Aviation Market – and the EU is part of the story

Kuala Lumpur, 20-22 January. A single aviation market needs better management, notably in an already congested airspace. Under the theme of Air Traffic Management, the EU AATIP programme held a three-day workshop. AATIP is the EU Air Transport Integration Project, helping ASEAN to cope with significant growth in air traffic.

The workshop prepared participants for conceptualizing airport capacity and management. Participants in the ASEAN Air Transport Working Group came from Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, as well as from the ASEAN Secretariat.

Singapore 12-13 January.  What are the economic consequences and risks of a single aviation market? To find out, the Ecole Nationale de l’Aviation Civile (French National School of Civil Aviation) undertook a study. The results were presented to ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat during a seminar hosted by the Civil Aviation Authority Singapore. The report analyses the possible effects of the single market on the economy and aviation industry of Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos PDR, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Limited infrastructure in some countries is clearly an obstacle to reap the benefits of an open market.

More information at www.aatip.org

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