Asean needs to ease market access to increase investment: study

A paper released by the EU-Asean Business Council has listed out some recommendations to boost market access and increase trade and investment between Europe and Asean.
A paper released by the EU-Asean Business Council has listed out some recommendations to boost market access and increase trade and investment between Europe and Asean.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The EU-Asean Business Council (EU-ABC) on Thursday released a position paper on recommendations to boost market access and increase trade and investment between Europe and Asean.

The paper highlighted four market access issues across Asean, including cumbersome custom procedures and restrictions on foreign ownership and foreign competition, as some of the hurdles to achieve this goal.

Unharmonised custom procedures and technical regulations, as well as frequently changing regulations which are not disclosed comprehensively and clearly, were som e other hurdles.

EU-ABC executive director Chris Humphrey, presenting the paper at a media briefing, said these themes hindered European Union trade with Asean countries and investment into Asean countries.

The European Union also released its latest EU-Asean trade and investment statistics at the same meeting. According to these statistics, trade with the EU accounts for 13 per cent of Asean's global trade in goods.

Singapore is the EU's largest goods trading partner in Asean, accounting for 25.1 per cent of trade in goods, the report said.

jkoh@sph.com.sg