CHAIR’S STATEMENT of the Tenth Asia – Europe Meeting
Milan, 16-17 October 2014
Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security
1. The Tenth Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM10) was held in Milan, Italy, on 16-17 October 2014. The meeting was attended by the Heads of State and Government, or their high-level representatives, of fifty-one Asian and European countries, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary-General of ASEAN. It was hosted by the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi and chaired by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy.
2. A warm welcome was extended to Croatia and Kazakhstan who on this occasion acceded to ASEM and became ASEM partner countries.
3. Under the theme “Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security”, leaders exchanged views on economic, financial, regional and global issues, as well as traditional and non-traditional security challenges, in the spirit of partnership between Asia and Europe. Highlighting the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability, leaders discussed the way forward in creating an enabling environment for the prosperity of their people through the enhancing of links between Asia and Europe. Leaders also agreed to strengthen ASEM’s three pillars of cooperation in the lead-up to ASEM’s 20th anniversary in 2016.
4. Leaders reaffirmed that ASEM is an important platform for political dialogue, economic cooperation and cultural and social exchanges between Europe and Asia and for achieving better understanding and promoting mutual interests. They agreed that the informal nature of ASEM has allowed it to be responsive to the fast-changing global environment. Leaders agreed that ASEM should continue with tangible and result-oriented activities which would benefit the people of both regions and increase ASEM’s visibility and relevance.
5. Leaders noted with appreciation the outcomes of the ASEM Ministerial meetings in the areas of Education (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2013), Foreign Affairs (New Delhi, India, 2013), and Finance (Milan, Italy, 2014), held since the 9th ASEM Summit (Vientiane, Lao PDR, 2012), and looked forward to further meetings as indicated in the ASEM Work Programme for 2014-2016 (Annex I).
Promoting Financial and Economic Cooperation through Enhanced Europe-Asia Connectivity
6. Leaders reaffirmed the importance of continuing economic and financial reform in order to secure stronger, more sustainable and balanced global growth and to achieve employment levels commensurate to the structural level. Leaders noted the gradual but uneven strengthening of the global economic outlook. The Asian economy showed strong resilience and remains a robust driver for the global economy. In Europe, steady progress in the implementation of sound economic policies and structural reforms remains crucial for stronger growth over the medium term. Leaders recognised that downside risks remain and continue to be committed to promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, inter alia in the context of fiscal sustainability, both at the domestic and the international levels, and to actively cooperating to narrow the development gap and to address common economic and social challenges. They noted progress on key regional financing arrangements in Europe and Asia, namely the European Stability Mechanism and the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation.
7. Leaders underscored the significance of connectivity between the two regions to economic prosperity and sustainable development and to promoting free and seamless movement of people, trade, investment, energy, information, knowledge and ideas, and greater institutional linkages. They thus called for the establishment of an integrated, sustainable, secure, efficient and convenient air, maritime and land transportation system, including intermodal solutions, in and between Asia and Europe. Leaders noted the usefulness of an exchange of best practices and experiences on areas of common interest, relating for example to the governance of the EU Single Market and the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. They emphasised the engagement of all stakeholders, including the industry and the think-tank and academic community, in the process of increasing connectivity between the two regions.
8. Leaders tasked the Senior Officials to further study approaches for enhancing Europe-Asia connectivity in all relevant fields and to explore concrete steps, including the possible establishment of a working group on connectivity towards this end. They welcomed the on-going regional and sub-regional cooperation and national initiatives by ASEM partners to connect Asia and Europe. Leaders also recognised the special needs of the land-locked developing countries which face constraints caused by lack of territorial access to the sea.
9. Leaders underlined that digital connectivity, enabled by high-speed, high-capacity broadband connections to the Internet, is a key element of modern society’s infrastructures. Leaders expressed interest to examine ways of enhancing digital connectivity between Europe and Asia. Leaders also welcomed progress in the Trans-Eurasia Information Network (TEIN), as well as the role of the TEIN Cooperation Centre in the Republic of Korea, and reiterated their further support for the project’s implementation. Leaders also underlined the opportunity to leverage the e-infrastructure developed under TEIN for new Asia-Europe projects, in areas such as e-learning, e-science, e-health and e-government. They welcomed the opportunity for further exchanges on cyber issues at the Global Conference on Cyberspace in April 2015 in The Hague, the Netherlands.
10. Leaders reiterated their commitment to striving for an open world economy and to strengthening trade and investment relations for stronger economic connectivity between both regions. In this context, they encouraged the revitalisation of the ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meetings and further efforts in this respect. They underlined that for sustainable growth and decent job creation, tapping the potential of trade and foreign investment is crucial, for which an open, stable and predictable rules-based multilateral trading system is needed. Leaders underlined their commitment to enhancing inter-regional trade and investment flows, including through the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Action Plan (TFAP) and Investment Promotion Action Plan (IPAP), to actively resisting trade-distorting or protectionist measures, and to addressing restrictions, including non-tariff barriers, which inhibit trade growth and investment. Leaders agreed to extend their standstill commitment until the end of 2016. Leaders welcomed the outcome of the 10th ASEM Customs Directors-General/Commissioners Meeting held in October 2013.
11. Leaders expressed their deep concern that the deadline for the adoption of the protocol on the World Trade Organisation (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement agreed at the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference held in Bali, Indonesia, in December 2013 was not met. They called on all WTO members to undertake efforts to put all the Bali decisions back on track so as to ensure a successful conclusion of the WTO Doha Round.
12. Leaders underlined the role of the private sector, and in particular the pivotal role of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in contributing to sustainable economic growth and decent job creation, while consolidating existing partnerships and forging new paths of economic cooperation to meet today’s challenges. They welcomed the outcome of the 14th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF14) held on 15-16 October 2014 in Milan. Leaders also underscored the importance of improving framework and working conditions for SMEs, including expanding their access to credit. Leaders acknowledged the importance of eco-innovation among SMEs and, in this context, the role of the ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC) and the planned 2015-2016 Working Group Seminars on the Eco-Innovation Competence of SMEs, as well as the ASEM Conference on Fostering Green Business of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises held in June 2014 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
13. Leaders recognised the key role of science, technology and innovation in promoting inclusive socio-economic growth and job creation. They agreed to enhance cooperation in science, technology and innovation, and to promote the joint development and deployment of innovative solutions, including among others, clean technologies, as part of a systemic approach to innovation, in order to address common societal challenges and to strengthen the trans-regional mobility of researchers and innovators. In this connection, leaders recognized the importance of international cooperation on mutually beneficial technology transfers. They welcomed the proposed ASEM Cooperation Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation as a means to promote linkages between European and Asian researchers and innovators.
14. Leaders underscored the importance of intellectual property and its protection in fostering innovation, growth and employment, and therefore agreed to strengthen the on-going cooperation on intellectual property rights issues in all relevant areas, including enforcement.
They welcomed India’s initiative to organize an ASEM Roundtable on Cooperation in Industrial R&D and Technology Alliances in November 2014.
15. Leaders noted the importance of environmentally friendly technologies and services for sustainable development, climate action and job creation. They welcomed initiatives aimed at liberalising trade in environmental goods and services and reaffirmed their commitment to further cooperation with the view to better addressing the challenges posed by the environmental impact of economic development. In this context, leaders welcomed the recommendations by the ASEM Roundtable on Energy Efficiency Technologies in the Building Sector, held in Hyderabad, India in September 2014.
16. Leaders reaffirmed that further progress is needed to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance, and to improve the transparency of beneficial ownership of companies and other legal arrangements, including trusts as expressed in the 11th ASEM Finance Ministers Meeting held on 12 September 2014 in Milan, Italy. They welcomed the ASEM International Experts’ Workshop on Stolen Assets and Hidden Wealth to be held in Manila, Philippines, in November 2014.
17. Leaders welcomed the role of G20, currently under the Australian presidency, in supporting strong, sustainable and balanced global economic growth, fostering employment, and making the global economy more resilient and sustainable.
18. Leaders reaffirmed that International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota and governance reform remains a key priority. Leaders expressed disappointment with the continued delay in the implementation of the reforms and urged all IMF members to ratify the 2010 reform at their earliest opportunity. In this context, leaders reconfirmed the importance of the IMF as a quota based institution and recalled that they are committed to maintaining a strong and adequately resourced IMF.
Europe-Asia Partnership in Addressing Global Matters in an Inter-Connected World
19. Leaders concurred on the seriousness of the challenge posed by climate change. They agreed that further and immediate ambitious action is required by all Parties, with a view to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, in order to meet the collective objective of limiting the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. In this context, leaders extended support for the success of the 2014 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties in Lima and 2015 UNFCCC Conference of Parties in Paris. Leaders resolved to work towards the adoption at the 21st Conference of the Parties of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with a legal force under the UNFCCC applicable to all Parties. Leaders also underscored their commitment to work together to address climate change and environment protection in accordance with all the principles and provisions of UNFCCC, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
20. Leaders reaffirmed their joint commitment to pursue efforts at all levels towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 and to work together with other UN members to agree on an ambitious, universal and transformative post-2015 agenda which reinforces the international community’s commitment to poverty eradication and sustainable development, integrating the three dimension of sustainable development in a balanced, inclusive manner. Leaders emphasized that sustainable development must be inclusive and people-centred, benefitting and involving all people. They welcomed the report by the Open Working Group and the set of Sustainable Development Goals proposed by the Group as well as the report by the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing. They underlined that a robust mechanism for monitoring and accountability, including a process of follow-up and review, will be important for the evaluation of progress and the success of the new agenda.
21. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to promote and protect human rights in accordance with the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights treaties and instruments. They reaffirmed their willingness to promote further co-operation in ASEM in the field of human rights, including through sharing experiences and best practices. They welcomed the convening of the 13th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2013, which focused on environment and human rights, the forthcoming 14th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, focusing on business and human rights, which will take place in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in November 2014, and the 15th Informal ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, focusing on human trafficking, which will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, in October 2015.
22. Leaders underlined the important role of governments, international and national human rights institutions and regional organizations in promoting and protecting human rights. Leaders underlined their commitment to strengthen collaboration to advance the promotion and protection of human rights through the Human Rights Council, particularly the Universal Periodic Review, and its special procedures and mechanisms. They emphasised that members of vulnerable groups need particular attention in order to ensure their full enjoyment of all human rights. Leaders reaffirmed the important role of parliaments, civil society and the media in strengthening the foundations of democracy, thereby contributing to the sound basis for sustainable development. In this regard, leaders also welcomed the organisation of the 8th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP) in Rome on 6-7 October 2014 and the 10th Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF) on 10-12 October in Milan, Italy.
23. Leaders condemned all forms of incitement to hatred and intolerance, including xenophobia, religious hatred and violence. They stressed the importance of respect and understanding for cultural and religious diversity, and of promoting tolerance, respect, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples. They acknowledged initiatives promoting moderation, in particular as espoused by the Global Movement of Moderates, to counter extremism in all its forms, and supported efforts in developing an open and inclusive dialogue on religious and cultural interaction in various formats within the ASEM framework. In this regard, leaders welcomed the outcome of the 6th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in Bali, Indonesia, in August 2014, and the Declaration of the Asia-Europe Meeting High-Level Conference on Intercultural and Inter-Religious Dialogue that was held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in July 2014.
24. Leaders reiterated their collective determination to strengthen preparedness and response to disasters and to build resilience, including through awareness programmes, early warning systems, search, rescue and relief operations and applying innovation, science and technology, and to reduce vulnerability to and losses caused by disasters. They also stressed the need to build resilience of the most vulnerable, including women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities, as well as to improve the capacities of local communities and societies to adapt to and manage the impact of disasters. They welcomed the outcomes of the two ASEM Conferences on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in November 2013 and in Manila, the Philippines, in June 2014, and in particular the Post-Haiyan Tacloban Declaration adopted at the Manila Conference. They called for deepening co-operation between Asia and Europe on disaster risk reduction and management and invited all ASEM partners to work towards a strengthening of the renewed international framework for disaster risk reduction to be adopted at the Third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in March 2015 in Sendai, Japan. They also supported the industry-oriented ASEM roundtable to be held in December 2014 in New Delhi, India, for promoting cooperation on “Innovations in Technologies for Disaster Rescue Efforts”.
25. Leaders endorsed the potential within the ASEM framework for collaboration in the area of health care, in particular for children, women and the elderly. In this context, they welcomed the ASEM Workshop on Public Health Emergency Management held in Beijing, China, in September 2014 and the initiative by India to host an ASEM Roundtable in April 2015 on “Non Invasive Diagnostic Technologies for Diabetes and its Treatment as a Lifestyle Disease”.
26. Leaders urged greater cooperation within the ASEM framework in enhancing food, water and energy security. Leaders reaffirmed their engagement to address emerging challenges, as appropriate, through trans-boundary cooperation and collective efforts, with the view to promoting sustainable water management, including integrated river basin management, and flood risk control and to ensuring access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Leaders committed to stimulate tangible cooperation between Europe and Asia in water-related issues, reaffirming ASEM’s engagement to bi-regional cooperation between the Danube and Mekong regions, as a model in transforming the shared challenges related to food, water and energy security into opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development. In this context, they welcomed the results of the 2nd and the 3rd ASEM Sustainable Development Seminars hosted in in Can Tho City, Viet Nam in March 2013 and Tulcea, Romania, in June 2014, respectively, and the ASEM Seminar on Sustainable Management of Water Resources in the Context of Urbanization in Changsha, China, in May 2014. They also encouraged industry representatives to participate at the ASEM Roundtable on Water Management Technologies scheduled for February 2015 in New Delhi, India.
27. Leaders confirmed that systematic steps should be taken to improve energy security at all levels, and recognised the necessity of diversifying energy sources and routes as a tool to increase energy security and competitiveness. Leaders underlined the importance of energy efficiency and promoting the use of renewable energy sources and low carbon technologies, the eventual elimination of fossil fuel subsidies, clean coal technologies including high efficiency coal-fired power generation technology, and the efficient integration of these technologies in the energy production capacity. Any development and use of nuclear energy should take place in accordance with applicable international safeguards standards, safety and security. In this context, leaders acknowledged the important role of the International Atomic Energy Agency. They also recognised the cooperation within ASEM in this field, welcoming the 2nd ASEM Seminar on Nuclear Safety held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in November 2013, and the 3rd ASEM Seminar on Nuclear Safety to be held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 4-6 November 2014.
28. Leaders recalled that Europe and Asia are facing global challenges associated with growing population, pressures on natural resources, and climate change which require improved sustainable, safe and efficient food systems as a means of ensuring food and nutrition security. Leaders agreed that good land governance and secure access to land, energy, research and innovation, integrated and sustainable management of water resources, forests and fisheries, and more inclusive agricultural value chains, enhancement of public-private partnership, investment in family farming and sustainable and climate-smart agriculture are important for food and nutrition security and higher productivity of the agricultural sector. Efforts should also be placed to reduce post-harvest losses and food waste. Leaders emphasized the urgent need to increase efforts in a comprehensive way across all sectors at the national, regional and international levels to address food security and agriculture development and called for new and additional financial resources from all sources to achieve sustainable agriculture development and food security and nutrition. Special attention should be given to the most vulnerable groups, in particular women and children. Leaders look forward to the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition to be held in Rome, Italy, in November 2014 and to the Milan 2015 Expo themed “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life ˮ.
Promoting cooperation on employment, education, social and cultural issues
29. Leaders welcomed the contribution of the ASEM dialogue on employment and social policies to promoting productive employment and decent work for all, social dialogue and social protection. Leaders acknowledged that decent and productive employment, especially for women and the youth, is a central pillar of sustainable and inclusive development. They reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening policies, programs and cooperation to facilitate efforts in ensuring the labour force possesses the requisite knowledge and skills, enhancing the employment outcomes of active labour market programs, training, enforcement of occupational safety and health and fundamental principles and rights at work, industrial relations and promoting social protection floors. Leaders acknowledged the important role of businesses, labour organisations and civil society groups in fostering economic growth that creates decent and productive employment. They supported the conclusions of the ASEM Seminar on Social Dialogue held in Brussels, Belgium, in March 2014.
30. Leaders underlined the major bearing that urbanisation has on global development and the crucial role cities play in fostering sustainable development. Leaders agreed to share experiences and cooperate on addressing the economic, social, environmental and climate change-related challenges of urbanisation. Leaders affirmed their commitment to work together towards a new urban agenda and welcomed the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (HABITAT III) to be held in 2016.
31. Leaders recalled that education is a key enabling factor in promoting sustainable and inclusive development, innovation and poverty reduction. Adequate resources are required to support education opportunities in ASEM countries. Supportive of the Education First initiative of the UN Secretary General and of an integrated post-2015 Education for All agenda, leaders highlighted the significant contribution of education to the society at large and to people-to-people contacts between Asia and Europe in particular. In this context, leaders welcomed the efforts by the ASEM DUO programme. They acknowledged the role of education, in particular higher education, lifelong learning and vocational education and training for human resource development. Recognising the problem of youth unemployment, leaders committed to strengthen apprenticeships and training programs that improve employability and facilitate school-to-work transition. Leaders welcomed the 5th ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM ME5) to be held on 27-28 April 2015 in Riga, Latvia, and invited the Education Ministers to reaffirm their commitment to strengthen and further develop the ASEM education cooperation. Leaders also noted the outcomes of the three ASEM International Seminars within the ASEM education process, held in August 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
32. Leaders stressed their determination to respect, protect and promote cultural diversity and safeguard tangible and intangible heritage of all cultures in accordance with UNESCO cultural conventions and programmes, including through the exchange of best practices and cooperation at bilateral, regional and international level. Leaders recognized the importance of creative industries for job and wealth creation and agreed that creative skills and innovation are indispensable in finding new solutions to today’s challenges and in facilitating economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. Leaders welcomed the 6th ASEM Culture Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM CMM6) to be held on 19-21 October 2014 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, with a focus on creative industries. They also welcomed the ASEM Workshop in on “Conservation Techniques and Instruments” to be held in India in 2016.
33. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen socio-cultural cooperation and promote greater people-to-people interactions through increasing cultural, educational, scholarly and youth, exchanges, and acknowledged the useful role played by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in this regard.
34. Leaders recalled the importance of tourism both as an engine for growth and decent job creation and as a crucial tool to enhance people-to-people contacts, and reaffirmed their willingness to deepen cooperation in this area between Asia and Europe.
Regional and International Issues
35. Welcoming the contribution of the ASEM dialogue to regional security, leaders reiterated the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability and resolving disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law. Leaders recognized that the root causes of security threats were complex and multi-dimensional, and acknowledged the importance of cooperation to address the underlying factors behind those threats.
36. Leaders acknowledged the importance of addressing traditional and non-traditional security threats, including intra-state and cross-border violence, illegal migration and irregular movement of persons, including people-smuggling and trafficking in persons, cybercrime, terrorism, all forms of radicalization and violent extremism, illegal trade in weapons and drugs, money laundering, piracy and armed robbery at sea, proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. They acknowledged the need to further promote disarmament, arms control and non-proliferation and to enhance international cooperation in combatting the illicit trade in conventional arms, in particular Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). Leaders looked forward to the upcoming entry into force of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Leaders encouraged the States Parties to the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) to contribute to a successful 2015 NPT Review Conference in April-May 2015. Leaders further resolved to enhance their cooperation to address the concern caused by explosive remnants of war, including unexploded ordnance (UXO). Leaders noted with interest the initiative by the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT) in Malaysia to organise an ASEM Symposium on countering radicalisation in October 2015.
37. Leaders expressed their concern that the spread of the Ebola virus constitutes a serious threat to global health and security. They acknowledged the efforts by ASEM partners in providing aid to affected areas and called for further urgent action and greater national, regional and international collaboration to end the Ebola outbreak in a comprehensive and coordinated manner including an exchange of best practices.
38. Leaders welcomed ASEAN’s efforts toward regional integration and looked forward to the launch of the ASEAN Community in 2015. They reiterated their support for the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 vision and ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture in Asia, and appreciated ASEAN’s role in promoting dialogue, building confidence and cooperation for peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Leaders commended the successful outcomes of the 24th ASEAN Summit in May 2014 and the 47th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and related meetings in August 2014 in Myanmar. They appreciated ASEAN endeavours in expanding its relations with partners and welcomed the interest of the EU and non-EU European ASEM partner countries in furthering engagement with the region through all ASEAN-led processes.
39. Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensure peace, stability and prosperity and to promote maritime security, safety and cooperation, freedom of navigation and overflight and unimpeded commerce and to combat piracy and armed robbery at sea in full compliance with the principles of international law. Leaders agreed on the critical importance of refraining from the use or threat of force and of disputes being resolved in accordance with principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
40. Leaders held a candid and constructive discussion on international and regional issues of common interest and concern in particular during the Retreat session. They exchanged their views on ways to strengthen Asia-Europe cooperation to promote international peace, security and development; on Iran’s nuclear programme; developments in the Middle East and North Africa, including the Middle East Peace Process, Libya, Syria and Iraq (including ISIL); terrorism; the situation in Africa; the regional security environment in Asia, the Korean Peninsula including the DPRK’s nuclear and missile programmes as well as human rights situation, including the abduction issue, Afghanistan; and security developments in Europe, including Ukraine.
Conclusion and Future Direction of ASEM
41. Leaders underlined the importance of developing activities and fresh thinking and of involving all stakeholders, including civil society organisations and the media, more to enhance ASEM visibility and relevance. Leaders approved the ASEM Work Programme for 2014-2016 (Annex I) and the list of future ASEM initiatives (Annex II). Leaders welcomed more action-oriented cooperation among ASEM members, with a priority of strengthening the quality of the dialogue by focussing more on substantive political and regional matters that confront both regions, and on greater tangible cooperation across the three pillars (Annex III).
42. Leaders commended the contribution of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in complementing the ASEM process with its projects in the areas of culture, economy, education, governance, public health and sustainable development. They appreciated ASEF’s activities in support of the 10th ASEM Summit. Leaders welcomed the on-going efforts to achieve greater synergies between the ASEM process and ASEF’s activities.
43. Leaders welcomed the development of the ASEM process since its inception and recognised the need to build upon its strengths and accomplishments in order to move the ASEM process forward. They tasked the ASEM Foreign Ministers and the Senior Officials to submit concrete recommendations on the future direction of ASEM to the next summit, when the 20th anniversary of ASEM will be marked. They welcomed Thailand’s initiative to host an ASEM Symposium on Future Direction of ASEM in order to contribute to this important undertaking.
44. Leaders welcomed the invitation of Luxembourg to host the 12th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM FMM12) on 5-6 November 2015 in Luxembourg, to be chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
45. Leaders thanked the Chair of the Summit for the effective handling of the meeting and the host for the excellent arrangements. Leaders welcomed the offer by Mongolia to host 11th ASEM Summit in 2016 and looked forward to meeting again then to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ASEM.