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The agreement is the result of years of intense negotiations, complicated in part by how the European Union is structured. Air rights also tend to be a sensitive subject to negotiate, especially since many airlines are considered “national carriers” that enjoy government support and subsidies. Nevertheless, this comprehensive pact comes not a day too soon. The EU is Asean’s third largest source of investment and third largest trading partner, with US$10.5 billion (S$13.9 billion)of foreign direct investment inflows and US$226.2 billion of trade in goods in 2020. The agreement is billed as reflecting the latest policy thinking in air transport regulation, including robust fair competition provisions and issues around doing business.