The Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, accompanied by the Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, and the President of the Chamber of Commerce, Luc Frieden, welcomed the ambassadors and representatives of the ten countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a working lunch at the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday 4 May 2022. ASEAN consists of 10 Southeast Asian countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia.
During this working lunch, the bilateral relations between Luxembourg and the ASEAN member countries, as well as the main topics of international and regional news were discussed. Concerning bilateral relations, Minister Asselborn stated that Luxembourg attaches great importance to relations with the countries of South-East Asia, both bilaterally and at the level of the European Union (EU). His bilateral visits to all ASEAN member countries reflect this intention.
With regards to economic and trade relations, the head of Luxembourg's diplomacy expressed the wish to further intensify economic cooperation between the ASEAN countries and Luxembourg. He stressed that Luxembourg aims to expand its connections with ASEAN, which already covers a wide range of sectors, from finance to investment, fintech, transport, logistics, information and communication technologies and many other aspects that contribute to the resilience of the respective populations. Minister Asselborn recalled that all partners benefit from the dynamism of commercial relations, which have experienced sustained growth in recent years, rising from 205 million euros in 2019 to 273.8 million euros in 2021. Minister Fayot outlined the main development sectors of the Luxembourg economy and suggested several options for strengthening economic, commercial and financial cooperation between Luxembourg and ASEAN.
In addition, the lunch was an opportunity to discuss international news, in particular the war in Ukraine and the situation in Myanmar. In this context, the head of Luxembourg's diplomacy reiterated his firm condemnation of Russia's unjustified attack on its Ukrainian neighbour. Minister Asselborn also took the opportunity to recall the need to protest against the dangerous application of the law of the strongest in international affairs, which could have repercussions in other regions of the world.
The working lunch was part of the 3rd edition of the ASEAN Day organised by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, the Ministry of the Economy and the ASEAN Brussels Committee (ABC).
Since its creation in 2017, the ASEAN Day has been a platform for institutional and economic actors to discuss cooperation opportunities with the aim of strengthening relations between Luxembourg, the EU and the ASEAN. The first ASEAN Day since the 2017 and 2020 editions, due to the health crisis, the 4 May 2022 event will have brought together government representatives as well as players from financial institutions and the private sector.
The first part of the day consisted of a presentation of economic opportunities by the ASEAN ambassadors in their respective countries and a "business matching" session, i.e. economic prospection sessions between the Luxembourg private sector and the ASEAN embassies. The second part of the day was dedicated to the presentation of Luxembourg's actors in the innovation, scientific research and logistics sectors. The day ended with a panel on green, sustainable and inclusive finance with the participation of leading players in the field, including the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Luxembourg for Finance and the European Central Bank.
Press release by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs