Faced with a changing geopolitical world, the EU and ASEAN are stepping up their cooperation in the green and digital domain. A joint conference Partners for a transformed future: Strengthening EU-ASEAN cooperation on the green and digital transition was held in Siem Reap, Cambodia organised by the Clingendael Institute and the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (CICP) on 2 November 2023. It was attended by 50 representatives from governments, intergovernmental organisations, civil society, and academia from both ASEAN and the EU, to discuss how to operationalise cooperation between the two blocs.
Despite differing levels of development, institutional capacity and regional integration, a strong and equal EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership needs to be based on mutual benefits and local needs. Policymakers and experts stressed the importance of dialogue and access to financial resources. The EU and its member states could engage with their ASEAN counterparts on topics where they have technological capacity and know-how, which are the areas where ASEAN sees an added value in cooperating with the EU, alongside China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the United States. Of key importance will be to create investment opportunities that prioritise economic growth in ASEAN while advancing EU economic security and position as global leader on the twin transition.
Download the two-pager summarising the results of the discussion in the form of tangible steps that should guide the EU-ASEAN Strategic Partnership, notably in the areas of digital connectivity, water management, power grid, and climate security.
Closing session with H.E. Bernhard Kelkes (Netherlands Special Envoy Connectivity), H.E. Santo Darmosumarto (Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia) and Maaike Okano-Heijmans (Clingendael Institute).
From left to right: H.E. Ekkaphab Phanthavong (Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN), Maaike Okano-Heijmans (Clingendael Institute), H.E. Igor Driesmans (EU Ambassador to Cambodia and former EU Ambassador to ASEAN), Pou Sothirak (CICP), and H.E. Sakal Nong (Cambodian Ambassador to the EU).