International seminar “ASEAN-EU Trade & Economic Cooperation”

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On March 24 2023, the Ambassadors to Poland of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam met at Collegium Civitas for the “ASEAN-EU Trade & Economic Cooperation” seminar.

Collegium Civitas, as one of the leading Universities in facilitating a multi-faceted, interactive and educational environment, cooperated with the Embassies of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to host this event.

The event kicked off with a warm welcome message from the Rector of Collegium Civitas Prof. Stanisław Mocek, followed by an opening speech from Dr. Katarzyna Maniszewska.

The first guest speaker was Her Excellency Ambassador Urasa Mongkolnavin from the Kingdom of Thailand, who discussed organizing outreach events to strengthen ties and then moved on to areas of cooperation between the EU and ASEAN, including political, security, trade, and socio-cultural aspects. The Ambassador emphasized the importance of the Green Team Europe initiative, the trade and investment work program, the comprehensive air transport agreement, and startups and unicorns initiatives. Looking ahead, Thailand will aim to focus on sustainability, including the development of sustainable infrastructure, the development of the electric vehicle industry as well as elevating standards of cooperation between existing and future members.

Her Excellency Anita Luhulima, the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia followed, emphasizing the focus on peace and stability in the region. Moreover, she emphasized the importance of three strategic pillars on the economic track, those being: recovery and rebuilding, digital economy, sustainability, and the importance of the Free Trade Agreement between ASEAN members and the EU.

Her Excellency Dato’ Chitra Devi Ramiah, the Ambassador of Malaysia, further emphasized the importance of EU-ASEAN cooperation, providing figures showing the EU as the third-largest trading partner and the third-largest export destination for ASEAN products and services, as well as the fourth-largest import destination and the second-largest external source of Foreign Direct Investment among Dialogue Partners. She reported the benefits of this cooperation to include: increased economic growth, job creation, and technological advancements.

Her Excellency Leah Basinang-Ruiz, the Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines, discussed steering ASEAN-EU relations to greater heights, working together to improve the protection of biodiversity, create circular economies, maritime cooperation, and ensuring stability in global supply chains.

His Excellency Nguyen Hung, the Ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, further emphasized these points, suggesting that the way forward for ASEAN-EU relations is through close collaboration, respect for mutual values and cultures, and creating roadmaps towards ambitious realizations of the ASEAN-EU strategic partnership.

The conference was concluded with closing remarks from Dr Maniszewska and an interactive Q&A session between attendees and the ambassadors. The guests then enjoyed a networking reception. The conference served as an important platform for strengthening ties and exchanging knowledge between ASEAN and the EU communities.

Report by: Gustaw Trojan

Photos by: Anna Radecka