Some 60 percent of German exports are handled via international shipping routes. In recent years, the number of incidents against ships in Asian waters has risen continuously. This puts not only the ships and their crews at risk, but also the freedom of trade routes. Germany is looking to expand its efforts to tackle piracy in the region, which is why it is acceding to the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) today (1 August 2021).
What is ReCAAP?
The Agreement was concluded in November 2006. Twenty countries are currently Contracting Parties, including the US and European states such as Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK. The Agreement aims to improve international cooperation to better combat piracy in Asia. A key element of this is the exchange of information on security-related attacks. For example, an Information Sharing Centre has been established in Singapore, which registers all security-related incidents in the region and provides information on how these can be prevented.
Why is Germany acceding to the Agreement?
More than half of Germany’s exports are transported via international shipping routes. Attacks on ships that put the security of vessels and their crews at risk are increasing and threatening the trade routes between Asia and Europe. Germany is seeking to play a more active role in combating and preventing piracy in this region of the world.
A further step towards implementing the policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific region
Germany’s accession to ReCAAP is also a key step towards implementing the policy guidelines on the Indo-Pacific region adopted by the Federal Government in September 2020 – the strategic guide for Germany’s foreign policy in the Indo-Pacific. The aim of the policy guidelines is to intensify relations in and with the region and place them on a broader footing. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is at the heart of these multilateral efforts. ASEAN is the most effective regional organisation in the Indo-Pacific and promotes peace, security and stability in Southeast Asia.