In April 2021, the European Council approved conclusions on a comprehensive strategy for cooperation in the Indo- Pacific. Amid significant challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Sino-American rivalry, the European Union (EU) has maintained that one of the long-term pillars of its engagement efforts in the region is its progress towards founding an ‘open and fair environment’ for trade and investment. As a result, Brussels is committed to building a set of ‘ambitious’ free trade agreements with certain Asian partners: in particular, the EU plans to strengthen trade negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its strategic partner since December 2020.Asia-Prospects-Snapshot-8
By Raimondo Reironi, Research Fellow at T.wai and an Adjunct Professor in History of Japan at the University of Turin.
To read the original report by the Torino World Affairs Institute, please click here.