In commemorating the celebration of 45 years of cooperation between the European Union (EU) and ASEAN, the EU and its member states has announced a mobilization of €10 billion (RM46.9 billion) as part of the Global Gateway to accelerate infrastructure investments in ASEAN countries.
This package will focus on the green transition and sustainable connectivity in Southeast Asia, underpinned by two Team Europe Initiatives, namely the Sustainable Connectivity Initiative and the Green Team Europe Initiative.
Investments will focus on energy, transport, digitalization, education, and the promotion of trade and sustainable value chains.
They will support Southeast Asia’s transition to a green economy, ensuring better access to essential services, economic opportunities, and jobs.
“We celebrate 45 years of cooperation between two regions that believe in multilateralism and a rules – based world order. Global Gateway will further deepen our strategic partnership.
“The Sustainable Connectivity Initiative will strengthen ASEAN’s economy, create jobs, and be a catalyst in our fight against climate change,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement recently.
The Sustainable Connectivity Initiative will accelerate infrastructure investment in Southeast Asia.
The Sustainable Connectivity Team Europe Initiative would support the ASEAN electric grid interconnections to improve access to renewable energy, invest in digitalization including connectivity via submarine cables, and promote environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable value chains.
The Green Team Europe Initiative would strengthen the EU’s partnership with the region in areas including climate action, environmental and biodiversity protection, clean energy transition, disaster resilience, prevention of illegal logging, wildlife trafficking, and air pollution.
It provides the framework for coordinated green action between participating Team Europe partners and ASEAN and its member states.
Recently, Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Liew Chin Tong represented MITI minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz at the 10th ASEAN – EU Business Summit in conjunction with the 45th ASEAN – EU Commemorative Summit in Brussels.
Among other things he emphasised during the summit was the need for more engagement between the EU and ASEAN in ensuring trade and investment to help create a middle class across the region.
He suggested that gaps in capacities and resources between the two blocs could effectively be narrowed through various support such as targeted funding, technology transfer as well as capacity – building programs.
“Both regions should engage more closely in several high – value – added areas for the mutual benefit of both ASEAN and the EU,“ he said.