Germany Seeks Trade Deals With ASEAN Members

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 3:05 am (UTC-5)
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Germany's foreign minister says his country sees Southeast Asia as an important growth engine and is eager to conclude free trade pacts with countries in the region.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle made the remark in Berlin Tuesday following a meeting with Surin Pitsuwan, secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Westerwelle said Southeast Asia is not only advancing economically, but also achieving an impressive pace of regional integration. He said Germany hopes for rapid progress in negotiating free trade agreements with its individual members.

Efforts to negotiate a bilateral trade agreement between the European Union and ASEAN as a whole have been unsuccessful. But Westerwelle said that remains Germany's long-term goal.