More cooperation between ASEAN and Gulf countries

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ASEAN and the Gulf Cooperation Council are considering a potential free trade agreement, a topic moreover addressed two years ago by the Italy-ASEAN Association in Dubai. Here we publish an excerpt from the joint communiqué issued at the end of the bilateral summit on Friday, October 20

Inspired by the common interests and deeply rooted historical ties between the two sides, the leaders exchanged views on common regional and international issues and discussed ways to improve and develop their partnership to take advantage of the growth opportunities that can be exploited through cooperation between the two regions, based on the shared visions for the future of their partnership and the values embodied in the United Nations Charter. The leaders pledge to:

  1. Join efforts to promote peace, security, stability and prosperity through mutual respect and cooperation among countries and regions to achieve development and progress and maintain the international order based on rules and adherence to the UN Charter.
  2. Undertake consultations and explore cooperation on specific areas of common interest to implement the four priority areas of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP): maritime cooperation, connectivity, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), economic.
  3. Recognize the importance of the oceans and seas as key factors in the region's growth and prosperity, and reaffirm the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, maritime security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and other legitimate uses of the seas and legitimate and unimpeded maritime trade, as well as promoting the peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  4. Strengthen ties between the two sides, multilaterally and bilaterally, and in global forums, pursuing opportunities for sustainable development, peace, security and stability, and to address global and regional challenges and risks; to ensure sustainable supply chains, transport interconnection, and strengthen food, energy and water security, as well as build cooperation on green and renewable energy sources and technologies, tourism infrastructure, and creation of energy sources.
  5. Conduct further consultations to explore new opportunities for trade, investment and technical cooperation between ASEAN and the GCC, including the possibility of developing a framework agreement on economic, trade and investment cooperation.

Full text here.

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