Asia is a vibrant economic region of the world, with dynamic markets and a strong innovation capacity. The Digital Agenda for Europe includes a series of initiatives and dialogues with a view to enhance cooperation and forge stronger links with the very diverse countries in the area.


The EU has a strong interest in working with China to achieve EU objectives in line with the Digital Single Market strategy. To this end, the European Commission maintains an annual ICT Dialogue with China covering ICT and digital policies as well as regulatory issues, which has been jointly run by DG CONNECT and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology since 2009. This dialogue has led to cooperation on Internet of Things (IoT), a Joint Declaration on 5G and to the establishment of an ad hoc expert group on the economic aspects of cybersecurity challenges and digital economy. 

The European External Action Service (EEAS) and DG CONNECT co-chair an EU-China Cyber Taskforce, founded in 2012 with the objective of enhancing cooperation on cybersecurity issues. ICT and digital economy are also closely linked with various EU-China trade and research related Dialogues and cooperation activities, including Horizon 2020.

An ICT Counsellor is based at the EU Delegation in Beijing.


India is a crucial market for European ICT companies with a rapidly-growing base of more than 900 million mobile subscribers, reaching 300 million Internet users during 2015, and rapid data growth and is a big potential market for Internet of Things, smart grids and green ICT.

As part of the EU-India Strategic Partnership, the Commission and the Indian government have established an EU-India Joint ICT Working Group. The objective of this working group with the Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is to promote India as an investment destination by facilitating market access for European companies operating in this country, as well as helping to ensure that the political leaders on both sides can hear the voices of Indian and EU business in the ICT sector. It also aims to facilitate access to information on other relevant topics including Internet Governance, ICT research and innovation, network and information security. Particular attention is paid to the strengthening of mutual cooperation on ICT standardizations.

The Commission has an ICT Counsellor at the EU Delegation in Delhi.  The Commission also supports the European standardisation organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) seconded standardisation expert in India (SESEI).  


Japan has a large, technically advanced ICT market, around one-fifth of which is communications infrastructures, whilst two-fifths is telecommunications services. Japan's ICT industry is heavily weighted towards manufacturing and telecom businesses.

The EU and Japan signed a Joint Declaration on cooperation in developing 5G. This was preceded by a MoU, signed on 25 March 2015 in Frankfurt between the EU and Japanese 5G industry associations (5GPPP and ARIB).

EU relations with Japan are handled through an annual ICT Dialogue with the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), which has been continuing for more than 20 years. This is used as an umbrella to cover most of the bilateral cooperation in the ICT sector that take place throughout the year. Every two years a high level meeting is also held in Tokyo on ICT matters with the Ministry of Economics Trade and Industry (METI). The Commission maintains an ICT expert at the EU delegation in Tokyo.

 EU and Japan shares common objectives an inclusive, open, and multi-stakeholder approach to Internet Governance and cooperates throughout the year. The EU and Japan also cooperates on cyber security, predominately within the framework of the annual Cyber Dialogue. Both Japan and the EU has a growing senior populations which constitutes both challenges and opportunities. The cooperation on using ICT to provide citizens with a Healthy Ageing is therefore fast growing.

South Korea

A Joint Declaration was signed in Seoul on June 16, 2014, between the European Commission and South Korea on working towards a global definition of 5G and to cooperate in 5G research and recognizing the need for harmonized radio spectrum for ensuring global interoperability and preparing global standards for 5G.  This was followed by an industry memorandum of understanding. South Korean and European Companies are working to prepare to showcase the new 5G technology at the 2018 Olympic winter Games in Pyeong Chang.

Current and future cooperation between the European Commission and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) covers ICT Research, 5G, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things (IoT). These ICT research topics is in a joint call for proposals to be launched in a jointly funded R&D PROGRAMME, e.g. "coordinated call" foreseen for 2016-2017. Following Vice Presient Ansip's visit to Seoul in November 2016, DG CONNECT are planning to set up a regular ICT dialogue with South Korea on topics of mutual ineterst icluding 5G, Cloud, Internet of Things, internet trust and secrity, policies to support startups and eGovernance.

The EU upgraded its relations with South Korea to a Strategic Partnership in 2010, ensuring a high level of commitment from both sides. Relations are governed by two key agreements, as well as more specific agreements in several fields.

The EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement entered into force in July 2011 which already has ensured a 20% increase in EU exports during the first and second year of implementation.

The European Union and Korea made an agreement at the 7th EU-Korea Summit on November 8, 2013, on promoting R&D collaboration in Information Communications Technology (ICT) notably in the area of the future generation of communication networks.

Cooperation between South Korea and the European Union is governed by an Agreement for Scientific and Technological, which came into force in 2007. The EU-Korea S&T Joint Committee meets on a yearly basis where this cooperation is discussed and reviewed. ICT matters are managed in a specific "ICT Working Group".


The EU and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) share a commitment to regional integration as a means of fostering regional stability, building prosperity, and addressing global challenges. The ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting of 26-27 April 2012 in Brunei Darussalam agreed on a Plan of Action for closer cooperation on political, security, economic and socio-cultural issues.

In the ICT area, cooperation activities are linked to the annual ASEAN TELMIN/TELSOM meetings and are supported via the READI programme, focusing particularly on spectrum policy and management, broadband deployment and competition policy in ICT.

On research, Southeast Asian organisations have 25 participations under the research programme FP7. The new EU research programme Horizon 2020 allows ASEAN countries to participate alongside their European partners.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and co-operation bringing together the European Union Member States and the European Commission with 16 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat. The ASEM dialogue addresses political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

The Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) connecting the European GEANT research network to similar bodies in Asia received funding from the European Commission with the aim of stimulating the exchange of information among researchers and students.