First Meeting of the Ambassadors of Central Asia, Mongolia and ASEAN held in Brussels

First Meeting of the Ambassadors of Central Asia, Mongolia and ASEAN held in Brussels
Фото: MFA 30.04.2024 18:29 3301

The Embassy of Kazakhstan in Belgium hosted the first informal meeting of the heads of diplomatic missions of Central Asian states, Mongolia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to share experience in expanding Asian-European trade, economic and industrial partnerships, as well as to explore ASEAN’s experience in building inter- and intra-regional dialogues.

Welcoming the guests of the meeting, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Belgium Margulan Baimukhan noted the important role of Brussels diplomatic missions in the development of Asia's relations with the European Union – the largest industrial exporter and a priority supply market for 80 countries.

“Today, as a result of diverse and effectively aligned co-operation, ASEAN countries are combined to be the third largest trading partner of the European Union with an annual turnover of more than 270 billion euros. Your path is very representative and interesting for us, as Central Asia, being at the junction of the Asian and European continents and being a connecting bridge between the world markets, is actively working to realise energy, transport and export potential in relations with the EU” the Kazakh diplomat said.

The combined GDP of the Central Asian countries and Mongolia is currently 430 billion euros, and their growing young populations could pass the 100 million mark by 2050. In 2023, intra-regional trade in Central Asia totalled 11 billion euros.

According to Ambassador Margulan Baimukhan, the similar position of the Central Asian countries and ASEAN on strengthening global dialogue and international security is an important condition for deepening economic relations. Thus, ASEAN and Central Asia declare themselves as nuclear-weapon-free zones.

He separately focused on Kazakhstan's targeting work to develop trade and economic relations with ASEAN. In 2023, the country’s trade turnover with 10 states of the association reached 3.9 billion euros, which is 32% higher than the previous period.

The Ambassador of Laos Kingphokeo Phommahaxay, speaking on behalf of the ASEAN Chairmanship, highlighted the main achievements and plans on the eve of the 25th anniversary of EU-ASEAN relations, as well as the most pressing European areas of common foreign policy. The diplomat highlighted the growing role of Asia in the world economic relations and expressed readiness to share experience with Central Asian partners in promoting climate, innovation, humanitarian and trade dialogues.

The speakers touched upon the issues of increasing the number of flights and expanding the geography of flights, cultural and humanitarian interaction, dialogue with the EU in the field of strengthening democratic institutions, establishing contacts of the business environment of the countries, etc.

The participants agreed to maintain a substantive dialogue aimed at strengthening comprehensive cooperation in promising areas between Central Asia, Mongolia, ASEAN and the EU.

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