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Press release from Ministry for Foreign Affairs

EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum 2023: strengthening partnership and advancing dialogue


On Saturday 13 May, Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and EU High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell will co-chair the EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm, in the context of the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU. With the aim of strengthening the partnership between the EU and the Indo-Pacific region, the meeting will bring together around 60 foreign ministers from the Indo-Pacific region and the EU, along with representatives of Indo-Pacific regional organisations and other partners.

“In many ways, the Indo-Pacific region is where the future of our planet and of history will be decided. How the region develops is of direct interest to us. We have a stake in each other’s security and a shared interest in upholding the rules-based international order. Today, both partners are facing similar challenges, not just in security, but in trade and aid. In a globalised world, there is no ‘faraway’ and conflicts cannot be separated”, said HRVP Josep Borrell.

“Cooperation between the EU and the Indo-Pacific region is of great geopolitical and economic importance. Growing tensions are putting pressure on trade, technology and foreign and security policy, underscoring the need for Sweden and the EU to deepen partnerships and political dialogues with the Indo-Pacific. It is my hope and belief that this meeting will lead to even stronger cooperation,” says Mr Billström.

The Indo-Pacific region accounts for two thirds of global growth and, together with the EU, 70 per cent of global trade. Discussions during the meeting will centre on common challenges with respect to security, trade, global value chains, digitalisation, the green transition and energy security.

This is the Indo-Pacific region

The Indo-Pacific region
- extends from the east coast of Africa to the island nations of the Pacific Ocean,
- is home to three fifths of the world’s population,
- accounts for 60 per cent of global GDP, two thirds of global growth and 40 per cent of the EU’s total imports,
- is in the vanguard of digitalisation and technology, and
- is central to meeting global challenges such as global warming.

In 2021, the EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific was adopted. The EU intends to increase its engagement and build partnerships aimed at strengthening the rules-based world order, tackling global challenges and laying the foundations for long-term, equitable and sustainable growth and prosperity.

The EU’s engagement is based on the rule of law, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, and international law as well as international agreements such as the 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Openness and inclusiveness are hallmarks of the EU’s approach to cooperation in the region and with partners engaged in the region.

The Indo-Pacific Region
The Indo-Pacific Region Picture: The Government Offices of Sweden

Press contact

Anna Erhardt
Press Secretary to Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström
Phone (switchboard) +46 8 405 10 00
Mobile +46 76 130 85 34
email to Anna Erhardt