During the week of 4-9 September, EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters, along with the EIB Global's delegation, participated in the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum, where they engaged in productive dialogues with leading stakeholders, ministers, project promoters, ambassadors and partnering international financial institutions.

Central to their discussions were prospects and challenges for sustainable initiatives and projects in ASEAN countries, bolstering economic growth, and championing climate action and just energy transition.

Global Gateway towards ASEAN green transition

“Green finance,” “Sustainable Infrastructure,” “JETP” and “ASEAN” were the focal themes of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related Indo-Pacific Forum (AIPF), which took place in Indonesia on 5-6 September.

Vice-President Peeters joined the AIPF as a panelist of a session on “Incentivizing Green Investment and the Role of Regulatory Reform,” affirming the EIB's commitment to support ASEAN countries with green investments, spanning infrastructure, transport, energy and digital.

Addressing the leaders of ASEAN countries, Vice-President Peeters said: “There's a need to enhance the governments’ delivery capacity and present viable bankable projects, which we would be eager to back up. Projects which should also create long-term value and contribute positively to the society, the environment, and future generations. Infrastructure projects stand as prime examples. Their sustainability is non-negotiable. If the project isn’t geared to thrive in the long haul, investing in it loses its purpose and rationale”.  

On 6 September, together with the EU Delegation to ASEAN and H.E. Sujiro Seam, the EU Ambassador to ASEAN, the EIB hosted a side event focused on implementing the Global Gateway in the ASEN region. It highlighted, in particular, the Global Gateway strategy, zooming in on Team Europe flagship projects and initiatives to promote sustainable investments in the region. This initiative was highlighted for its significance to both public and private sector stakeholders in the ASEAN region and was very well attended with more than 180 guests.

Transitioning from discussions to action, “we've worked closely with the Indonesian government, finalising preparations for a €250 million loan agreement to enhance health facilities across the country. As part of our commitment to support Indonesia's transition to a green economy within the JETP framework, and with EIB's pledge of up to €1 billionn, we are coordinating with the government to establish a framework loan of up to €500m. Meanwhile, in Vietnam, our consultations with the Minister of Finance have solidified into an MoU, paving the way for a €500 million framework loan that aligns with the JETP objectives in Vietnam. We anticipate formal endorsement of these initiatives at the Global Gateway forum in Brussels in October,” said Edvardas Bumsteinas, Head of the Asia and Pacific Division at the EIB.

Cementing regional presence in Southeast Asia and the Pacific

On the sidelines of the ASEAN events, the EIB unveiled the new office space of EIB Global in Jakarta, fully integrated with the EU Delegation to ASEAN, in a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the ASEAN and EU Heads of Missions.

“The dynamic pulse of Southeast Asia and the Pacific plays an integral role in global geopolitics and development. Our presence here isn’t just an institutional footprint, it’s a strong affirmation of the EU’s and its bank’s commitment to nurturing and elevating its ties with ASEAN,” said Sunita Lukkhoo, Head of Regional Representation for Southeast Asia and Pacific.

The EIB office in Jakarta was opened in September 2022 to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations between the EIB global and the countries in the Southeast Asian region. A local presence allows the EIB to better understand the unique challenges and opportunities in the region. This understanding facilitates the sharing of knowledge, best practices, and technical expertise that can contribute to successful projects.

Supporting Vietnam as an emerging ASEAN player

After Indonesia, the EIB delegation visited Vietnam, a country that maintains an active role as an ASEAN member. Reflecting this commitment, the EIB's presence in the country is profound.

During the mission to Vietnam, the EIB delegation engaged with several key stakeholders, including the Minister of Finance, Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Vice-Minister of Industry and Trade, and the Chairman of the Vietnam Electricity Company. Discussions primarily centered on the Bank's support for the JETP initiative, exploring avenues for potential sovereign and sub-sovereign level funding, and enhancing backing for local banks. These conversations underscored the Bank's continued commitment to Vietnam's development.

The EIB team also visited the Hanoi Metro Line 3 project, co-financed by the EIB, the AFD, the ADB, and the French Government. The promoter - the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board – organised a test drive of the elevated section of the metro. With completion expected next year, the metro is set to soon enhance daily commutes in Hanoi and foster more sustainable public transportation options in the capital.

Loan officer Samuel Miquel, working on the operations in Vietnam, commented, “Our focus remains on tangible ground impact, be it the metro, revamped energy systems, pump storage hydropower plants, or sustainable electricity projects which we discuss with the client Vietnam Electricity.”