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EU/ASIA: LAMY AND ASEAN OUTLINE PRIORITIES FOR JOINT TRADE INITIATIVE.

TREATI, the EU-ASEAN trade and investment initiative launched in July 2003, was at the centre of the meeting between Commissioner Lamy and the South-East Asian Trade Ministers. They agreed on six priority areas for the TREATI initiative, in line with the key sectors singled out by ASEAN within their own regional integration process. These are health and hygiene rules for food and fishery products, standards for electronics and forestry, and horizontal co-operation on investment and trade facilitation.

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The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967 and now has ten members: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Cambodia. The enlarged EU is currently ASEANs third largest trading partner, accounting for 14% of ASEAN trade. 15% of ASEAN exports are destined for the EU, which makes it ASEANs second largest export market after the US.

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ASEM V.

In their joint media statement, Mr Lamy and the ASEAN Trade Ministers also commented on the controversy over Burma's human rights record which has cast a shadow over the upcoming Asia-Europe Meeting. In a protest against the Burmese military Government's persistent human rights violations, the EU has opposed the country's participation in the upcoming Fifth Asia-Europe Meeting, known as ASEM V. This led to a locking of horns between the EU and ASEAN which resulted in the cancellation of two recent Ministerial meetings between the two regions. The Asian countries have now agreed to exclude Burma's highest-ranking officials from the Summit, enabling it to go ahead as planned on October 8 and 9 in Hanoi, Vietnam (see Europe Information 2892). Expressing "regret" at the cancellation of the two Ministerial meetings, Mr Lamy and the ASEAN Trade Ministers "stressed the importance of a successful outcome from the forthcoming Summit".

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Title Annotation:European Union
Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:90ASI
Date:Sep 8, 2004
Words:292
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