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Cabinet Approves Two Documents to Be Signed at the 21st ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting

12 October 2016 (Readers 760)

The Cabinet, during its meeting on 11 October 2016, approved two documents to be signed at the 21st ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, which will be held in Bangkok on 13-14 October 2016, under the theme "Towards a Strategic Partnership.
It also assigned the Foreign Minister to sign the documents on behalf of Thailand. One of the documents is the Bangkok Declaration on Promoting a People-Oriented, People-Centered ASEAN-EU Partnership for Shared Strategic Goals. The other one is the Bangkok Roadmap for Elevating the ASEAN-EU Enhanced Partnership to a Strategic Level (2016-2017).
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai and Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President (HR/VP) of the European Union, will co-chair the 21st ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting (AEMM).
ASEAN and the EU have a long-standing partnership since the formalization of their relations in 1977. Since then, the AEMM has become an inter-regional platform where Ministers of Foreign Affairs from ASEAN and EU Member States, as well as ASEAN Secretary-General and the HR/VP, meet regularly on a biennial basis to discuss how to advance ASEAN-EU relations and engage in dialogue on regional and international issues. ASEAN Member States takes turn to serve as the Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations every three years. Thailand started its coordinatorship role since August 2015.
The Meeting aims to strengthen ASEAN-EU cooperation in all dimensions and to pave the way for elevating the ASEAN-EU partnership to a strategic level and to set the course for the future direction of their relations. Ministers of Foreign Affairs, or high level representatives from ASEAN and EU Member States, as well as the ASEAN Secretary-General and the HR/VP will also engage in a discussion on regional and international issues of mutual interest.
ASEAN and the EU are natural partners. The two regional organizations both enjoy 227 billion US dollars in two-way trade. ASEAN enjoys 19.7 billion US dollars in FDI net inflow, and 9.3 million tourist arrivals from EU Member States in 2014. The EU is ASEANs third largest trading partner, first investor, and second highest source of tourists coming to the ASEAN region.
Thailand, as a country that enjoys centuries of relations with Europe and the current Country Coordinator for ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations, attaches great importance to AEMM and to building the momentum of ASEAN-EU cooperation towards a Strategic Partnership and to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of its relations in 2017.
The 21st AEMM also seeks to promote access to its outcome for all, including people with disabilities. Therefore, the Open Session of the Meeting will be translated in sign language (Thai and English) and the outcome documents will be made available in braille and other relevant formats.
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