Berlin, December 1:  The European Union on Tuesday entered into a strategic partnership with the ASEAN, the former announced on Tuesday. According to a report in Reuters, the two regional bloc have 'upgraded' their relationship to strategic levels. “As close economic partners, we will stand up for safe and open trade routes and a free and fair trade,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Reuters.  World News | US Pitches for Free and Open Indo-Pacific in ASEAN Summit.

“Together, we represent more than a billion people and almost 25 per cent of global economic power. Together, we have a strong voice in this world,” he added. Various country heads in the EU and ASEAN on Tuesday held a virtual meet and decided to help each other in more strategic levels.  However, no details regarding the deals are out in public as yet.  World News | Strategic Partnership with ASEAN Has Been Core of India's Act East Policy: PM Modi.

This comes weeks after, 10 ASEAN countries joined China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand to constitute the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). It is the world’s largest free trade bloc, having  nearly one-third of the global population and about 30 per cent of global GDP. ASEAN is a group of South- East Asian countries including Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 01, 2020 09:10 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website