Phnom Penh, 29 February 2012 - Following the success of the 1st ASEAN-EU Business Summit last May in Jakarta, Indonesia, this year the 2nd ASEAN-EU Business Summit will take place in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, on the 1st April 2012.

The ASEAN-EU Business Summit will bring together entrepreneurs, private investors and public policy-makers from both the EU and ASEAN to address critical issues related to EU-ASEAN trade relations, while identifying new business and investment opportunities on both sides.

This event will provide participants from the EU and ASEAN private sector with a unique opportunity to exchange views and voice their concerns on ASEAN-EU trade and investment relations directly with the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the EU Commissioner for Trade, H.E. Karel De Gucht.

"2012 marks the anniversary of 35 years of friendship and co-operation between the two major regional integration initiatives in the world: the EU and ASEAN. The EU and ASEAN are crucial partners commercially. ASEAN as a whole represents the EU's 3rd largest trading partner outside Europe (after the US and China) with more than 175 billion EUR of trade in goods and services in 2010. The EU represents ASEAN's largest export partners with exports amounting to more than 90 billion EUR in 2011. The EU and ASEAN do matter to each other economically, therefore I expect a vibrant business event in this year's ASEAN capital, Phnom Penh", said Ambassador Jean-François Cautain, Head of the EU Delegation to Cambodia.

The ASEAN-EU Business Summit (AEBS) is organised by the Cambodian Ministry of Commerce, the EU Delegation to Cambodia, Eurocham Cambodia and the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. Around 300 international business leaders are expected to convene during a day of meetings, discussions and closed door sessions on how to further improve business in the most relevant trade and investment sectors. Sectorial discussions will be preceded by an open debate on promoting EU-ASEAN Business Partnerships based on sustainable trade and investment, including a discussion on aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility and best practices. The sectors to be discussed include: 1 - Agri-Business (food processing, beverages); 2 - Infrastructure/Connectivity (energy, logistics, market access barriers); 3 – Manufacturing (automobile, pharmaceutical); and 4 - Services (finance, insurance, ICT).

"I expect this year's ASEAN-EU Business Summit to contribute significantly to the promotion of trade and investment flows between the two regions by, inter alia, exploring ways on how to reduce barriers and minimise constraints in trade and investment between the ASEAN countries and the EU common market. I look forward to seeing an active debate led by the business community and sound recommendations for an improved business environment to be presented to the ten ASEAN Trade and Economic Ministers and the EU Commissioner for Trade, H.E. Jean-François Cautain added.

About the dedicated session on Corporate Social Responsibility, Ambassador Cautain commented: "Both the EU and ASEAN have sustainable economic growth among their underlying principles and core objectives. There is a strong nexus between sustainable business development and corporate social responsibility. Some argue that not only responding to good CSR practices is indispensable for long-term sustainable growth, but it has also very positive impact for businesses. The AEBS will be a very good stage for disseminating and exchanging CSR best practices across two large trading and investment regions such as the EU and ASEAN".

For more information, please visit the ASEAN-EU Business Summit www.ASEAN-EUBizSummit.com and/or contact Ms. Pok Poun at the EU Delegation to Cambodia at (+855) (0) 23-216996 or pok.poun@eeas.europa.eu

Khmer Version