The European Commission will begin negotiations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on an aviation agreement soon. The commission has received a mandate from EU transport ministers earlier this week to open negotiations that could lead to the creation of many new routes and business opportunities for European firms through bilateral agreements with ASEAN and countries like Turkey and Qatar. An agreement is estimated to bring almost €8 billion (US$9 billion) in “economic benefits” during the first seven years, according to EU figures.

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