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Asia is a vibrant economic region of the world, with dynamic markets and a strong innovation capacity.


The European Commission maintains an annual ICT Dialogue with China covering ICT and digital policies as well as regulatory issues.

The ICT Dialogue has been jointly run by the Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) and the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology since 2009. This dialogue has led to cooperation on the Internet of Things and a Joint Declaration on 5G. Furthermore, an ICT Counsellor is based at the EU Delegation in Beijing.

ICT and the digital economy are also closely linked with various EU-China trade and research related dialogues and cooperation activities, including Horizon 2020.

The European External Action Service and DG Connect co-chair an EU-China cyber task force founded in 2012 with the objective of enhancing exchanges and cooperation on cyber issues.


The 15th summit between the European Union and India held in July 2020 confirmed that the relationship with India in the digital field is based on shared values.

The relationship focuses on issues of shared concern to achieve human-centric digitalisation and to develop inclusive economies and societies. The EU side proposed to launch a high-level digital investment forum in which businesses leaders can discuss concrete opportunities for cooperation and issues of concern.

Ongoing cooperation between the EU & India takes place under the umbrella of an annual joint working group on information & communications technologies, co-chaired by DG Connect, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department of Telecommunications within the Ministry of Communications.

The joint working group offers the opportunity for both sides to listen to the voices of Indian and EU businesses in the digital sector, and address issues of concern. The July 2020 summit agreed to upgrade the level of dialogue and cooperation.

Ongoing objectives include cooperation and exchanges to bring about the safe and ethical deployment of artificial intelligence and a high level of protection of personal data and privacy. Both partners approach these objectives with a view to facilitating safe and secure cross-border data flows between the EU and India.

Recognising the potential of high-performance computing (HPC) to support responses to natural disasters & pandemics, the EU & India have also taken the first steps to cooperation on HPC.

The EU and India cooperate on developing a globally interoperable standard for 5G, on cybersecurity and on the promotion of technical and regulatory work on the development of new technologies, such as Blockchain. They also cooperate on support for startup ecosystems.

A lot of work has taken place to strengthen mutual cooperation on ICT standardisation, which can help support trade. India’s Telecom Standards Development Society (TSDSI) works with the European standardisation organisations – CEN, CENELEC and ETSI – through the seconded standardisation expert in India (SESEI) project.

The India-EU ICT Standardisation project aims to promote alignment between India and Europe on the development and use of ICT standards. In addition, the INDICO project aims to increase collaboration on 5G, IoT (Internet of Things) and blockchain technologies, including their security aspects.

The Commission has an ICT Counsellor at the EU Delegation in Delhi.


EU relations with Japan remain very close, and constant dialogue takes place with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), as well as the Cabinet Office.

The EU's relations with Japan are handled through an annual ICT Dialogue with the MIC, which has taken place for over 20 years. The annual dialogue serves as an umbrella to cover most of the bilateral cooperation in the ICT sector. Every 2years, a high-level meeting is also held in Tokyo on ICT matters with the Ministry of Economics Trade and Industry (METI). In addition to this, the Commission maintains an ICT expert at the EU delegation in Tokyo.

The EU and Japan share common objectives in their inclusive, open, and multi-stakeholder approach to Internet governance, and cooperate on the basis of such vision. Cooperation also exists in the field of cyber security, and the use of ICT for the provision of Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) to their growing senior populations.   

A new Economic Partnership Agreement between EU and Japan came into effect in February 2019. The new agreement includes chapters on e-commerce, telecom services, regulatory cooperation and intellectual property rights.

Both parties have also concluded the negotiations on reciprocal adequacy, agreeing to recognise each others' data protection systems as 'equivalent'. This will allow personal data to flow safely between the EU and Japan, creating the world's largest area of safe data flows.

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).

South Korea

Current and future cooperation between the European Commission and the Korean Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (MSIP) covers ICT Research, 5G, cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT).

Cooperation between South Korea and the European Union is governed by an Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation, which came into force in 2007. The EU-Korea Scientific and Technological Joint Committee meets on a yearly basis with the aim of discussing and reviewing cooperation, while ICT matters are managed in a specific ICT working group.

The European Union and Korea made an agreement at the 7th EU-Korea Summit on 8 November, 2013, on promoting research and development collaboration in ICT, notably in the area of the future generation of communication networks.

The European Commission and South Korea signed a Joint Declaration in Seoul in 2014 to work towards a global definition of 5G, and to cooperate on 5G research and the harmonisation of radio spectrum for global interoperability. This was followed by an industry Memorandum of Understanding. South Korean and European companies showcased the new 5G technology at the 2018 Olympic winter Games in Pyeong Chang.


DG Connect held the first ICT Dialogue with Taiwan in June 2019, where several potential areas of cooperation including research and development and AI were identified.

The EU-Taiwan ICT research cooperation is well established in the field of 5G, and a second targeted call with Taiwan was launched in 2019 focusing on integrated end-to-end network for 5G trials.


The EU and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) share a commitment to regional integration as a mean to foster regional stability, build prosperity and address global challenges.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation bringing together the European Union Member States and the European Commission with 16 Asian countries and the ASEAN Secretariat.

To learn more about the two initiatives, see the page on the European Commission's relations with international organisations and multilateral fora.


Digital Day 2021: EU countries commit to key digital initiatives for Europe's Digital Decade

Today, at the online Digital Day 2021, Ministers representing EU Member States signed three Declarations to pool efforts and resources to promote international connectivity, incentivise the rollout of clean digital technologies and improve the regulatory environment for start-ups and scale-ups. These tangible commitments will help accelerate Europe’s green and digital transformation and will contribute to the vision and goals of Europe's Digital Decade.

Digital Day 2021: Europe to reinforce internet connectivity with global partners

At Digital Day 2021, 25 Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway, committed to reinforcing internet connectivity between Europe and its partners in Africa, Asia, the European neighbourhood, the Western Balkans and Latin America, by signing the Declaration on “European Data Gateways as a key element of the EU’s Digital Decade”.

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