At the meeting of European Union and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers in Madrid, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet emphasised that over the years co-operation between European Union and Southeast Asian nations has expanded to cover a wide range of areas, including political and security, economical and trade, and development cooperation affairs. “ASEAN has become a strategic trade partner for the EU. Therefore we consider it essential to upgrade our economic relations by concluding deep and comprehensive free trade agreements first on the bilateral level, and in the future with the entire ASEAN region,” he added.
According to the Estonian foreign minister, dialogue between the European Union and Southeast Asian countries could be further intensified by utilising information and communication technology to improve economic outlooks by creating new jobs and strengthening competitiveness. “By using new and innovative solutions in government, we are able to make services more easily accessible to our public and the work of state officials becomes simpler,” stated Paet. “Estonia has shared its experiences in utilising e-capabilities in government and everyday life with countries near and far, while also drawing attention to cyber threats and the need to ensure cyber security,” added the foreign minister.
The abuse of cyberspace is, according to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, a serious security threat. “This is a global problem, and therefore the key to any ensuring cyber security and combating threats rests in international cooperation,” asserted Foreign Minister Paet.
“Estonia calls on all states that have not yet done so to join or ratify the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber Crime, which is thus far the only functioning and binding international instrument for preventing and hindering cyber crime,” Paet said while talking about the need to improve international co-operation in creating a cyber-related legal space. Some countries in the ASEAN region have already started domestic preparations for bringing their legislation into accordance with the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cyber Crime.
Since April of 1999, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has included all ten nations of the region: Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar/Burma, and Cambodia. The organisation was established by the first five nations listed in 1967 and the other nations gradually joined, the most recent being Cambodia. The ASEAN is the fourth-largest trade region in the world, with 400 million inhabitants.
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet also has bilateral meetings scheduled within the framework of the meeting of EU and ASEAN foreign ministers.
SPOKESPERSON' S OFFICE
Paet Invited EU and Southeast Asian Nations to Co-operate in Backing Cyber Defence