On Tuesday evening, the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of the Economy and the Embassy of Luxembourg in Bangkok, held the 2nd edition of ASEAN Day at the Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg-Kirchberg.
The 2020 edition of ASEAN Day, under the title "Business Opportunities between Luxembourg and ASEAN countries", brought together ambassadors from the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries and various representatives of the public sector, as well as stakeholders from the private sector and financial institutions. The event provided a platform for companies to exchange information and explore business opportunities in the areas of innovation, digital transformation, connectivity, green growth and sustainable finance.
Among the speakers at this edition, following the first which took place on 8 May 2017, were Luxembourg's Minister Delegate for Digitalisation, Marc Hansen, who delivered the inaugural speech, and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn.
In his speech, Marc Hansen presented the priorities of the Ministry of Digitalisation and focused on the opportunities that digitalisation offers companies. He added that the Luxembourg government fully supports the objectives of the European Commission on the digital future of Europe, which are in line with Luxembourg's strategies and initiatives in the area of digital transformation: "Europe's digital agenda confirms that Luxembourg is indeed on the right track to make the digital transition an opportunity for all". Marc Hansen concluded by recalling that Luxembourg has a long tradition in cross-border and international collaborations and that the country is a reliable partner in all fields, including that of new technologies.
For his part, Jean Asselborn met with various ASEAN country ambassadors and representatives during a working lunch. The ten represented countries were: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Luxembourg's Ambassador to Bangkok, Jean-Paul Senninger, and the Director General of the Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Thelen, also participated in discussions. This exchange provided an opportunity to take stock of the good bilateral relations between Luxembourg and the ASEAN member states.
In this context, Jean Asselborn commented: "The number of companies participating in ASEAN Day has increased, which shows the growing interest of the Luxembourg private sector in the South East Asia region".
Participants also discussed the sustained relations that the ASEAN maintains with the European Union (EU) and the means of strengthening these relations. Indeed, Minister Asselborn expressed support for the idea of enhancing ASEAN-EU relations at the level of a strategic partnership.
Jean Asselborn and the ambassadors went on to discuss areas in which bilateral and regional cooperation could be intensified in the future, in particular trade, air services, sustainable growth, green finance, digitalisation, logistics and connectivity, renewable energies, as well as support for multilateralism and human rights. In the same vein, participants highlighted the imperative to promote information sharing and cooperation between ASEAN and the EU to help address the global challenge posed by coronavirus ( COVID-19).
Moreover, the round tables organised during this second edition of the ASEAN day enabled actors from the various sectors in Luxembourg to have in-depth exchanges with representatives of member countries of the ASEAN on a wide range of topics with a view to boosting relations in the years to come.