Tuesday

22nd Sep 2020

Asian countries to form EU-like trade zone

Leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed to set up a single market by 2020, modelled after the European Union.

Meeting in Bali, Indonesia on Tuesday (7 October) for the ninth ASEAN Summit, leaders of the 10 member countries agreed to launch a free trade area which will cover a population of 500 million.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The ASEAN leaders agreed to set up three areas of closer co-operation: The ASEAN security community (ASC), the ASEAN economic community (AEC) and the ASEAN socio-cultural community (ASCC).

Some have the vision of extending the agreement even further and include China, Japan and South Korea as well.

"If we join forces …. East Asia, will become the engine of growth for the world economy, and the 21st century will be the age of East Asia," South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun told business leaders, according to the BBC.

Today, (8 October) the ASEAN members will meet delegates from China, Japan, South Korea and India before the summit's official close.

ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Burma and Cambodia have joined later.

The grouping was originally set up to insure that south east Asian countries would provide a buffer against Communist China.

Belarus opposition leader urges EU to be 'braver'

The Belarus oppositon leader asked the EU not to support the Belarus authorities financially, and not to recognise Lukashenko as the country's president when his term ends in November.

Cyprus leaves EU ministers red-faced on Belarus

EU foreign ministers will have nothing to show Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya when they meet her in Brussels on Monday, after Cyprus blocked sanctions.

News in Brief

  1. Special EU summit postponed as Charles Michel quarantines
  2. Italy to cut number of MPs by one third
  3. World's richest 1% 'fuelling climate crisis'
  4. Polish government at risk over animal-rights law
  5. UK 'could see 50,000 new corona cases a day'
  6. EU cuts carbon market compensation for industry
  7. Russia and US could scrap another nuclear arms treaty
  8. Turkish president sues Greek newspaper over headline

Feature

The Hagia Sophia and the global battle of symbols

The Turkish president's decision to restart Islamic worship services in Istanbul's Hagia Sophia last Friday is not innocent. So how should we react? By doing the opposite - and make Cordoba's famous Mosque/Cathedral in Cordoba a museum.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Borrell gives EU four weeks to save foreign policy
  2. Belarus opposition leader urges EU to be 'braver'
  3. Kyrgyzstan cannot paper over death of Azimjon Askarov
  4. 'Big Three' EP groups nominate homophobe for Sakharov prize
  5. Cyprus leaves EU ministers red-faced on Belarus
  6. EU seals new Covid-19 deal amid global distribution fears
  7. German court hears harrowing testimony of Syria torture
  8. Turkey, Belarus and migration in the EU spotlight This WEEK

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us