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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
15 December 2020

EU Gateway │ Business Avenues supports European companies in Asia

The Programme helped thousands of European companies to establish long-lasting business collaborations in the Republic of Korea and South East Asia (2016-2020), China (2016-2018) and Japan (2017-2019) through EU-funded mission, business matchmaking, logistics, and customised services.

EU-Korea business meets

Perfectly aligned with Europe’s vision of a greener economy and a healthier population within the context of a digital world, and leveraging its recent trade agreements with Asian markets, EU Gateway | Business Avenues supported 2,238 European companies in establishing and strengthening their business relations in Asia.

Between 2016 and 2020 the Programme organised 53 EU-funded business missions to the Republic of Korea, South East Asia, Japan, and China, attracting over 38.000 Asian visitors and contributing to more than 27,200 useful B2B meetings.

The Programme invested in the most promising sustainable technologies and products, turning the benefits of climate neutrality, digital solutions, and healthcare, into concrete business opportunities. In addition to a cleaner environment and a better quality of life, environmentally responsible solutions also meant new jobs. In the first 4 years, the Programme had already contributed to create over 5000 new positions in Europe to fulfil the growing demand from Asia.

In 2020, missions became virtual to support European companies in consolidating business collaborations during the economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Programme supported newcomers and established European businesses alike, from family-owned companies, to small and medium enterprises, coming from all EU Member States.

EU Gateway | Business Avenues has built upon six editions of this successful initiative, which started in 1990. Today, its legacy provides a solid base geared towards tighter international business cooperation and the “next” normal: a more sustainable future founded on digital and global health.

Facts & figures

Overview 1990-2020






Between 2016 and 2020:

53 business missions to the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Japan, and China with 2,238 participating companies from all EU member states.

Study of EU Gateway to Japan and Korea

External review of EU Business Avenues pilot programme