Sunday, July 1, 2018

EU FTAs in SE Asia

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While the US busies itself issuing tariffs for IP violation, the EU is quietly getting on with a series of IP agreements in Asia. The EU Indonesia Free Trade Agreement (which contains a substantial IP chapter) is currently under negotiation. Four rounds of talks have been held so far. 

Meanwhile the Vietnamese Embassy in Belgium, in collaboration with the European Union (EU), the EU-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group and the European Institute for Asian Studies, held a workshop in Brussels on June 20 to speed up the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. Among the issues Vietnam is working to resolve to take advantage of the agreement, are a number of intellectual property areas. 

Apart from that in Malaysia seven rounds of EU Malaysia negotiations have been held but the FTA is on hold and a stocktaking exercise is being finalized to assess the prospect to resume negotiations. Thailand and Philippines are also in FTA negotiations with the EU now. 

Negotiations for a region-to-region FTA with ASEAN were paused in 2009 to give way to bilateral country FTAs, which will then be the building blocks towards a future region-to-region agreement.

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