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ASEAN nations should deepen aviation ties with EU: Transport Minister

ASEAN nations and the European Union (EU) should do more to deepen their aviation ties, Singapore's Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said on Tuesday, as this would help expand both regions' economic flows.

SINGAPORE: ASEAN nations and the European Union (EU) should do more to deepen their aviation ties.

This would help expand both regions' economic flows, said Singapore's Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew at the EU-ASEAN Aviation Summit on Tuesday.

He noted that while more travellers are flying direct between the EU and ASEAN, the growth is slower than that of passengers choosing to fly through intermediate points, such as the Middle East.

Eleven million visitors flew direct from the EU to ASEAN in 2012.

Mr Lui said: "It is in our mutual interest to facilitate and expand the conduits for economic flows between our two regions. Enhanced air connectivity, in particular, will not only make it easier for cross-region business to take place but also encourage more tourism, people exchanges and the free flow of ideas."

Mr Lui was speaking to some 250 aviation leaders from around the world.

He also said ASEAN can learn from the EU's experience in establishing a Single Aviation Market, as ASEAN moves towards plans for its own Open Skies Agreement by 2015.

Mr Lui said the EU model has boosted growth and integration.

Airlines are now more competitive while also benefiting from greater standardisation in areas such as airworthiness, security and air traffic management.

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