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EU–ASEAN: Aviation Summit – Towards stronger relations in aviation

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EU-ASEAN in figures

1.The EU traded with ASEAN more than €206 billion in goods and services in 2011

2.ASEAN is the EU’s 3rd largest trading partner outside Europe.

3.The EU is ASEAN’s 2nd largest trading partner after China, accounting for around 11% of ASEAN trade.

4.The EU is by far the largest investor in ASEAN countries, with EU companies holding around one quarter of all foreign direct investment (FDI) stock in ASEAN. EU companies have invested around €9.1 billion annually on average (2000-2009).

5.With a combined population of 1.1 billion, the EU-ASEAN air transport market is of increasing strategic importance to both sides.

6.Air traffic between the EU and ASEAN has also been growing steadily and nearly doubled over the last 15 years to reach more than 10 million passengers in 2012.

7.Passenger air traffic between Europe and Southeast Asia is expected to grow by an average rate of 5% per year over the next 20 years.

 

What is the state of play of EU-ASEAN relations?

1.The EU and ASEAN have a long history of strong commercial ties. Over the past 40 years, the EU and ASEAN have strengthened their dialogue which in 2007 was upgraded to an EU-ASEAN Enhanced Partnership.

2.The EU and ASEAN share a commitment to regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, building prosperity, and addressing global challenges.

3.The two regions’ wider economies benefit immensely from aviation, which creates and facilitates growth, employment, tourism and connectivity with the rest of the world.

4.The EU has already signed so-called Horizontal air transport Agreements (bilateral agreement) with several ASEAN Member States: Singapore (2006), Malaysia (2007), Vietnam (2010), and Indonesia (2011), and with a prospect to sign also with the Philippines and Cambodia.

5.The EU is funding a technical cooperation and assistance project which is supporting the creation of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market. The “ASEAN Air Transport Integration Project” (AATIP) was launched in 2012 with a budget of 4.7 million € for the period 2012-2016. More information on the AATIP in the Annex further below.

 

What do we want to achieve?

1.In September 2012, the European Commission identified ASEAN as a region offering new interesting opportunities for cooperation, including a comprehensive aviation agreement at some stage. In December 2012, the Council of the EU welcomed the EC’s intention to organise jointly with ASEAN an EU-ASEAN Aviation Summit with the aim of enhancing EU-ASEAN aviation relations. In May 2013, the European Parliament, in its resolution on the EU’s external aviation policy, called on the Council of the EU to grant the European Commission a mandate to negotiate comprehensive air transport agreements with fast-growing economies including ASEAN.

2.The ASEAN Transport Ministers have expressed a clear interest in enhancing EU-ASEAN aviation cooperation leading to a, EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement.

3.A comprehensive EU-ASEAN aviation agreement would generate significant benefits for both sides not only in terms of market liberalisation, but also in ensuring regulatory convergence, fair competition, and more trade and investment.

4.Such agreement would require the support of EU Member States for the granting of a mandate to the Commission for negotiating a comprehensive air transport agreement with ASEAN.

 

Why would ASEAN and the EU be good partners in aviation?

1.Both EU and ASEAN have dynamic aviation markets which offer new opportunities for cooperation in this sector. There is much to gain, on both sides, by a close cooperation.

2.With a total population of 600 million, high economic growth – projected at 5% per annum over the next 10 years – and on-going market integration and liberalisation, ASEAN offers attractive opportunities to EU airlines, airports and manufacturing industry.

3.Airlines in ASEAN are expected to take delivery of almost 3,000 aircraft worth close to €500 billion by 2032. There is also a need for massive expansion of airport and air traffic management infrastructure as well as other aviation-related products and services such as aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

4.ASEAN is in the process of further regional integration, aiming at the realisation of an ASEAN Community including an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. Aviation is a key pillar supporting the establishment of the AEC via facilitating the free, efficient, safe and secure movement of people and goods within and potentially beyond ASEAN.

5.While at different stages of maturity, the EU and ASEAN regional integration process have many similarities including in the aviation sector where both are creating single aviation markets within their region.

6.ASEAN is on course to create by 2015 an ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASAM), which will have many similarities to the open regional aviation market in Europe. This offers new opportunities for cooperation between the EU and ASEAN in aviation.

7.The development of a single aviation area in ASEAN countries is based on common rules and market opening. This is just what the EU did in the past two decades, creating what is today the largest and most successful example of regional aviation market in the world, creating significant benefits for EU consumers, the EU aviation industry and the overall EU economy.

 

Background information

The EU has signed comprehensive air transport agreements with: USA, Canada, Western Balkans, Morocco, Jordan, Georgia, Moldova, and Israel. An agreement will soon be signed with Ukraine. Negotiations are expected soon to be finalised with Brazil. Negotiations are ongoing with Tunisia, Azerbaijan and Lebanon and may also start with Armenia. The Commission also has mandates to negotiate with Australia, New Zealand and Algeria.

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