The 20th EU-ASEAN Ministerial Meeting agrees to upgrade EU-ASEAN relations to a “strategic partnership”
On 22 and 23 July, Foreign ministers of all ten ASEAN and twenty-eight EU Member States met in Brussels. High Representative Catherine Ashton and Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh as Coordinator of the ASEAN-EU dialogue co-chaired the meeting under the theme “Towards A Strategic Partnership for Peace, Stability and Prosperity”.
The Bandar Seri Begawan Plan of Action defines actions for strengthening the EU-ASEAN partnership until 2017. In addition to the yearly evaluation of the follow-up of this plan the Ministers agreed to upgrade relations to a “Strategic Partnership”. Officials will now develop a roadmap for that goal.
The ministers also exchanged views on areas of mutual concern. Regarding Ukraine, Ministers condemned the downing of Flight MH17 and backed UN Security Council Resolution 2166 on the matter. Baroness Ashton highlighted the importance of international law in resolving disputes in the South-China Sea. Ministers agreed to enhance their maritime cooperation. The current scope on sustainable management of maritime resources will be expanded to security.
The EU announced an increase of financial support to ASEAN, in order to help the association approach its goal of building a community, with a focus on connectivity, climate change, the environment and disaster management.
Launch of ASEAN online trademark information (TMview) in Singapore
On August 26, interregional connectivity saw a significant step forward with the launch of the ASEAN online trademark information tool (TMview). The tool was developed by the EU-ASEAN Project on intellectual property rights – ECAP III programme (http://www.ecap-project.org/), implemented by the European Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).
TMview offers free access to over 2.2 million trademark applications in five languages. So far, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand are participating ASEAN countries. It is expected that Myanmar and Vietnam will join soon.
Users now have the possibility to discover the trademark landscape of the ASEAN region in a simple and powerful way. A click on http://www.asean-tmview.org/tmview/welcome.html – or through the ASEAN IP Portal (aseanip.org) – is enough to find the answer.
TMview was inaugurated during the ASEAN IP Ecosystem Fair, with the presence of Dr Michael Pulch, EU Ambassador to Singapore, Mr Yih San Tan, Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS) and Chairperson for the ASEAN Working Group for Intellectual Property Cooperation (AWGIPC) and Mr Ernesto Rubio, OHIM´s Special Projects Coordinator.
The 5th ASEAN-EU dialogue on Science and Technology discusses priorities for ASEAN-EU collaborative research
On August 24, the EU met the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST) in Bogor, Indonesia. Mr Kostas Glinos, Head of International Cooperation of the European Commission’s research and innovation branch led the EU side in the 5th ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Science and Technology.
The talks take place annually and allow the parties to update each other on the latest developments. ASEAN explained the drafting of the ASEAN Plan of Action for Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) for 2015-2020, while the EU presented the forthcoming programme Horizon 2020.
The participants discussed priorities for collaborative research, such as health, environment, fishery and aquaculture, and infectious diseases. They also looked at enhancing joint research. ASEAN COST-EU should promote researcher’s mobility, explore the ways to develop joint funding mechanisms and share experiences on intellectual property rights protection. For details please see http://www.asean.org/news/asean-statement-communiques/item/the-8th-informal-asean-ministerial-meeting-on-science-and-technology-iammst-88
Open Skies in ASEAN
The ongoing ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project (AATIP) helps the region to establish a Single Aviation Market. This is to be achieved through the development of an integrated civil air transport system, by strengthening institutions and by enforcing high regulatory standards for a safe and secure, interconnected aviation.
The 3rd AATIP Steering Committee met in Yangon in May. Future directions were set out, while achievements were recognized, such as the adoption of the AATIP methodology for Air Traffic Management and Aviation Safety.
The second year of the project will continue and develop activities initiated earlier, focusing on harmonised frameworks in aviation safety and air traffic management as well as of the completion of a study on the economic impact of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market.
ARISE recommends architecture for the ASEAN and National Trade Repositories
The ASEAN Trade In Goods Agreement (ATIGA) requires an ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR) to be established and online available by 2015. The purpose of an ATR is to publish all trade tariff- and non-tariff barriers to increase market transparency and ease trade.
The 15th Coordinating Council on ATIGA (CCA) Meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, on 10-11 June 2014, endorsed the ARISE proposed architecture for the ATR/NTR and associated Notification Procedures.
ARISE will host the launch of ATR/NTR in a series of two-day workshops for the ten ASEAN Member States. The first workshops are held in Myanmar 15-16 September and in the Philippines on 18-19 September.
ARISE works in both workshops with USAID, which is developing the National Trade Repositories to reflect the structure defined by ARISE. Work on the classification of Non-Tariff Measures’, a key component of the ATR and NTR, is helped by the World Bank.
ARISE removes trade barriers for foodstuff
Assisting ASEAN in its path towards the removal of trade barriers on food products, the EU ARISE programme convened a workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia on 14 and 15 July, to facilitate the discussion among 30 representatives from regulatory agencies and food standard bodies, members of the ASEAN Product Working Group on Prepared Foodstuffs (PFPWG).
ARISE such assisted ASEAN member states in the drafting and revising of the ASEAN Common Food Control Requirements (ACFCRs) through aligning them with international standards. This paves the way for the signing of a Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) for food control systems for prepared foodstuffs in ASEAN Member States. They are in turn able to accept as equivalent food inspections and certifications conducted in other Members States. Moreover, these inspections and certifications conducted elsewhere are to be compatible with international trade obligations, like those in the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.