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International Cooperation Policy

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ASIA Invest

Economic co-operation with South and
South East Asia and China

 

Official title

Asia-Invest programme.

 

Legal references

  • Budget line B7-301
  • Commission Communication 'Towards a new Asian strategy' COM (94) 314 final
  • Call for proposals SCRE/111082/C/G (Asia-INTERPRISE) OJ C 150 of 30.5.2000
  • Call for proposals SCRE/111083/C/G (Language and Business Culture familiarisation) OJ C 150 of 30.5.2000
  • Call for proposals SCRE/111084/C/G (Technical assistance) OJ C 150 of 30.5.2000
  • Call for proposals SCRE/111085/C/G (Market Place Monitoring) OJ C 150 of 30.5.2000
  • Call for proposals SCRE/111576/C/G (Business Meeting Programme) OJ C 305 of 25.10.2000

 

Objective

The Asia Invest programme was established to help European businesses internationalise their business strategies and facilitate co-operation between business in the European Union and Asia. Asia Invest provides grants to support business co-operation through the following instruments:

  • The Business Priming Fund provides support to groups of European and Asian companies to prepare them for business co- operation. This fund has three component parts.

      1. Market Place Monitoring: researching market potential and entry strategies in specific sectors in Asian countries for groups of EU companies

      2. Language and Business Culture Familiarisation: training courses and seminars for groups of EU and/or Asian companies enabling them to acquire international business and language skills.

      3. Technical Assistance: supporting groups of companies from Asian countries to prepare them for economic co-operation with EU partners.

  • The Asia Investment Facility provides European companies with information about investment opportunities in Asian countries, by means of country and sectoral studies to identify, evaluate and promote focused market opportunities. (restricted tender procedure)

  • Business to Business events provide direct contacts between business managers from Europe and Asia in the form of bilateral meetings where each participating company receives a personal schedule of pre-arranged meetings. Intermediary bodies from Asia or Europe, eg, Chambers of Commerce, generally run the events.

      1. Asia-INTERPRISE: support for events aimed at facilitating cooperation agreements between SMEs of a same sector from Asian countries and EU Member States.

      2. Asia-Partenariat: large scale events, organised in an Asian country and co-funded by the host country's government, offering a wide platform (covering many sectors) for companies from the EU and the Asian country in question to discuss concrete cooperation projects. No more than 5 such events are foreseen throughout the programme.

      3. Business Meeting: a combination of Asia-INTERPRISE and Asia-PARTENARIAT insofar as these events cover three to four activity sectors.

 

Beneficiaries

The final beneficiaries of the Asia Invest programme are companies from the 15 Member States of the European Union and 18 countries of South and South East Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

Operators

Grants are awarded on the basis of calls for proposals inviting intermediary non-profit organisations that represent companies to submit projects, eg, chambers of commerce, trade/industrial associations, etc, from the Member States of the European Union or the eligible countries of South and South-East Asia.

The Technical Assistance scheme is only open to Asian organisations while the Market Place Monitoring scheme is only available to European organisations.

 

Timetable

The Asia-Invest programme runs for five years (1997-2002). Calls for proposals concerning the schemes below are published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and on the Asia- Invest web site.

  • Market Place Monitoring
  • Language and Business Culture Familiarisation
  • Technical Assistance
  • Asia-INTERPRISE
  • Asia-Invest Business Meetings

For the Asia Investment Facility, consultants are selected by the European Commission using the framework contract procedure. Asia-Partenariats follow a joint decision taken by the host nation's government authorities and the European Commission.

 

Eligible measures

  • Market Place Monitoring should consist of a study of one particular sector or a maximum of three related sub-sectors in one or several Asian countries. All economic sectors including industries and services are eligible provided there is mutual interest for business co-operation. The project should be market driven and should involve a minimum of 15 companies.

  • Language and Business Culture Familiarisation should consist of training projects covering one of a wide range of relevant topics, eg, "How to do business", "How to negotiate" in Asia, legislative and regulatory information, norms and standards, etc. All economic sectors including industry and services are accepted, provided there is mutual interest for economic co-operation. The proposals should be market driven and should involve at least 15 companies.

  • Technical Assistance projects will usually take the form of training seminars, workshops, etc, designed to upgrade the skills of Asian companies and organisations. A wide range of topics are eligible, eg, norms and standards, quality management, production techniques, technological know-how, etc. All economic sectors including industry and services are accepted. The proposals should be market driven and should involve at least 15 companies from the 18 South and South-East Asian countries covered by the Asia-Invest programme.

  • Asia-INTERPRISE events must focus on a single main economic sector or a maximum of three related sub-sectors and must bring together at least three groups of companies (min. 15 companies per group) from two different EU Member States and one Asian country. All economic sectors including industry and services are accepted.

  • 'Business Meetings' must focus on three to four main economic sectors. All economic sectors, including services and industry are accepted. A minimum of 75 companies should participate in a bilateral Business Meeting from 5-6 countries at least (depending on whether the event is organised in Asia or Europe).

 

Scope and level of Community assistance

The maximum Community grant will be:

  • EUR 160 000 for 'Market Place Monitoring' schemes with a maximum level of co-financing not exceeding 50% of the total eligible costs.

  • EUR 60 000 for 'Language and Business Culture Familiarisation' schemes with a maximum level of co-financing not exceeding 50% of the total eligible costs.

  • EUR 120 000 for 'Technical Assistance' schemes with a maximum level of co-financing amounting to between 50% and 80% of the total eligible costs depending on the beneficiary country (See Guidelines for Applicants 2000).

  • EUR 100 000 for 'Asia INTERPRISE' projects with a maximum level of co-financing not exceeding 50% of the total eligible costs.

  • EUR 200 000 for the 'Business Meeting' programme with a maximum level of co-financing not exceeding 50% of the total eligible costs.

 

EU funding

In accordance with Budget line B7 - 301, the Asia-Invest programme has a budget of EUR 45 million for five years (1997- 2002).

 

Implementation

The European Commission and the Asia-Invest Advisory Committee are responsible for developing and agreeing upon the annual work programme (geographic, sectoral and funding) of Asia- Invest. The Advisory Committee is made up of EU-level bodies representing organisations that are involved in economic cooperation with Asia, such as EUROCHAMBRES (European chambers of Commerce) and UEAPME (European Association for small and medium- sized enterprises).

Applications for funding are examined and evaluated by the European Commission with the assistance of experts according to criteria set out in the Guidelines for Applicants 2000.

 

Communication means

The following information is available on the Asia-Invest website: www.asia-invest.com.

  • Reports derived from Asia Investment Facility projects - information about investment opportunities in emerging and developing countries in Asia.

  • Information relating to Asia-Partenariat events - large- scale business-to-business events covering several sectors and bringing together hundreds of companies.

  • List of Asia-Invest members - encouraging European and Asian business mobilisers (chambers of commerce, employer bodies) to strengthen relations.

  • Information materials produced by the Asia-Invest Secretariat:

    • Asia-Invest newsletter - is available every two months in electronic version on the Asia-Invest website or in paper version from the Asia-Invest Secretariat (see address below).

    • Asia-Invest brochures - are available from the Asia-Invest Secretariat.

    • Frequently Asked Questions with answers are available on the Asia-Invest website.

  • Guidelines for applicants for the schemes below can be downloaded from: http://www.asia-invest.com/newhtml/guidelines.htm or http://ec.europa.eu/scr/tender/index_en.htm

    • Market Place Monitoring
    • Language and Business Culture Familiarisation
    • Technical Assistance
    • Asia-INTERPRISE
    • Business Meeting Programme

 

Additional sources of information

  • Asia-Invest Secretariat
    Rue Archimède 17,
    B - 1000 Brussels
    Telephone: +32 2 282 1750
    Fax: +32 2 282 1760
    E-mail: asia.invest@asia-invest.com
    Website: www.asia-invest.com

    Asia-Invest Antennae - information and contact points in the EU (23) and Asia (10) for the Asia-Invest programme. A full list of addresses is available on the Asia Invest website.

 


01/2001


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