Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

First Asia-Europe Meeting

The First Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 1-2 March 1996. The ASEM brought together leaders from ten Asian states (Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, The Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), as well...
The First Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) took place in Bangkok, Thailand, on 1-2 March 1996. The ASEM brought together leaders from ten Asian states (Brunei Darussalam, China, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, The Phillipines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam), as well as from all fifteen EU Member States and the European Commission.

The initiative for this summit grew from the recognized need to strengthen the links between Asia and Europe and foster closer ties between the three main centres of economic growth, namely Asia, Europe and North America. In this context, the participating leaders agreed on the need for a multilateral rather than a unilateral approach to the resolution of trade issues.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the ASEM, Mr. Jacques Santer, President of the European Commission, underlined six main areas for future EU-Asia collaboration:

- Cooperation to ensure the smooth functioning of the multilateral trading system, including work on investment and intellectual property rights;
- Intensifying cooperation in the area of science, technology and research;
- Cooperation in the development of the global Information Society;
- The development of joint policies in the area of environmental protection;
- Joint action to alleviate poverty in the less developed countries of Asia, particularly through access to good health and education services;
- The development of a cultural dialogue between the two regions to promote mutual understanding and respect (through, for example the promotion of tourism and educational exchanges).

Among the proposals put forward by the meeting was the Thai proposal for the establishment of an Asia-Europe Business Forum to promote cooperation and exchanges between the business communities of the two regions, particularly with regard to SMEs. The creation of an Asia-Europe Foundation to mobilize investment and undertake research in various fields with a view to disseminating information and knowledge on the two continents was also suggested by Singapore. Both proposals received strong support from the meeting.

At the suggestion of President Santer, it was decided to hold a follow-up meeting of senior officials to take place in Brussels, Belgium, on 25 July 1996.
DE FR

Related information

Countries (11)

  • Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top