Summary EU-ASEAN FTA Negotiation

Posted on: 03/07/2015

FTA Negotiations continue between the ASEAN countries.  In brief the situation with 4 of the negotiations, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam are as follows


Progress is good with the areas of transhipment, 90% tariff elimination and an English web-portal for government tenders agreed in principle.  Tariff staging and market access barrier, especially for pharmaceutical and spirits) remain key requirements.  The 14th round is scheduled at the end of July 2015 with the expectation of political agreement to follow shortly.


The military coup in May 2014 has according to the European Commission (EC) led to the absence of a democratically elected government therefore the (EC) had decided to pull away from discussing the FTA agreement.  Thai elections are due in 2016 which may change the situation and the view of the EC.

EU-Indonesia CEPA

Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) scoping started in 2012 but Indonesia ultimately did not respond and instead pursued self-sufficiency and protectionist measures.  At the annual EU-ASEAN dialogue in April 2015, Indonesia expressed renewed desire to negotiate a CEPA.  The European Commission has agreed to discuss this further at the annual EU-Indonesia dialogue in September 2015.


After 7 rounds of talks the discussions were suspended (2013) it is likely that Malaysia will reengage with the EU towards the end of 2015 and hopefully this will lead to initial scoping talks and the potential for a formal round of discussions in early 2016.


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