MILAN – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak gave Asean and European Union Free Trade Agreement (FTA) a push at the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit here.
Najib said when Malaysia assumed the chairmanship of Asean in 2015, one of the key areas to be given emphasis would be to encourage the Asean-EU FTA process.
Najib, who is the Coordinator of the ASEM Asean sub-group, said the regional Asean-EU FTA could complement the existing EU FTA with Singapore as well as the near-concluding FTA with Vietnam.
“In due course we hope there will be Asean-EU FTA and that will complete the inter-regional integration between EU and Asean,” he said in a joint press conference at the end of ASEM Summit here yesterday.
Other ASEM leaders at the presse conference were European Commission president Jose Manuel Barraso, European Council president Herman Van Rompuy, Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi and Mongolia president Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj.
Over 50 leaders from Asia and Europe were in the Italian city for the two-day ASEM Summit to deliberate on issues of common interests.
Najib said intra- and inter-regional integration would be one the key areas for Malaysia to continue to work on when it assumed the chairmanship of Asean next year.
He said Asean should be attractive to European companies with the ongoing integration process as the ease in doing business would be enhanced.
Najib said Asean would emerge as the economic community with about 600 million people with US$2.5 trillion of combined gross domestic product.
“It will make it attractive for European companies to invest in single market when we declare ourselves economic community,” he said.
Najib said Malaysia was all for to give a strong emphasised on Asean-EU relations.
“I see a lot of exciting possibilities and I agree with the view, Asean-EU partnership will grow from strength-to-strength,” he said. – Bernama