Josep Borrell’s remarks ahead of the EU-ASEAN Commemorative Summit

F.P. Report

BRUSSELS: Good morning,


Today is a celebration day. 45 years of diplomatic relations with ASEAN.


I am going to sign, on behalf of the European Union, two Partnership and Cooperation Agreements with Thailand and Malaysia. [These are] important steps in increasing our cooperation with ASEAN countries.


The importance of ASEAN needs to be enhanced. We are the biggest cooperation partner on development. We are the second investor in the region, and the third partner with the region.


This region is a vibrant economy. It will be growing and growing in the next years. Now, right now, one third of all trade maritime trade in the world by volume goes through the South China Sea. So, for us, it is [an] aorta vein. [It is very] important that these navigation [routes] remain free and secure.


We are going to talk about security, also. Security has two sides: Ukraine, on one side, and mainly, the South China Sea, which means the tensions with China.


So, it is going to be an important meeting. 45 years of diplomatic relations, and an important future in front of us for our cooperation.