NRW-ASEAN Summit: North Rhine-Westphalia intensifies economic cooperation with Southeast Asia

In order to tap the potential of Southeast Asia’s economy and expand trade relations, the state government wants to further intensify cooperation with the ten ASEAN countries. At the NRW-ASEAN Summit in Gelsenkirchen today (April 20, 2023), some 300 participants from politics, business and associations, including Minister for Economics and Climate Protection Mona Neubauer, exchanged views. The event is jointly organized by the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection, IHK NRW, IHK Nord Westfalen, Foreign Trade Promotion Association NRW.Global Business and the Foreign Chambers of Commerce of ASEAN countries.

Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Mona Newport: “As an important growth region in Asia, the ASEAN countries offer the economy of North Rhine-Westphalia great opportunities for new sales and procurement markets. By intensifying our cooperation with business partners in Southeast Asia, we are utilizing the region’s dynamic business and research potential and at the same time diversifying our economic relations. The NRW-ASEAN Summit is an excellent opportunity to promote joint activities and exchange views on central topics such as climate protection, digitization and startups.”

Dr. Benedict Hofer, President of the IHK North-Westphalia: “The interest in this event confirms that companies have realized the importance of the growth region in Southeast Asia. It is now important to support companies so that they can quickly and in the best possible way exploit the opportunities offered by the ten countries as export or purchase markets. The ASEAN region is not only an engine of digital innovations, but It also provides companies in almost all sectors with great potential to enter into or expand international trade relations. More than 200 million people live in ASEAN countries than in the European Union, while at the same time the economic output is about one-fifth that of the European Union.

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Southeast Asia is the EU’s third most important trading partner, after China and the United States, and the world’s third largest recipient of foreign direct investment. Trade volume between North Rhine-Westphalia and the 10 ASEAN countries will be around €16 billion in 2022. ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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