This article is concerned with contemporary trans-regional cooperation between Europe and Asia in a changing world. It examines the emerging economic relationship between the EU and Asia and possible challenges and implications facing both regions. It argues that Europe - Asia economic and commercial ties are likely in the future to result in unbalanced economic development between both these regions; in short, future agreements are likely to disproportionately favour Europe. Therefore, the economic and commercial ties between these two regions should aim to develop the least advanced countries in Asia. The article argues that ASEM can be empowered as a common flexible framework for bilateral and inter-regional trade initiatives between both regions; it can be empowered to manage and monitor these trade initiatives and their social implications for vulnerable ASEM countries. The main objective of this article is to contribute a clearer understanding of the current EU - Asia relationship in the context of ASEM.
Europe, Asia, ASEM, EU, FTA
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