Stronger regional economic cooperation was pledged here on Tuesday at the end of the 9th Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) with the European Council setting a stronger agenda for its 51 members.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy as the next Chair of ASEM emphasized that progress was made with Asian leaders on economic, political and socio-cultural issues but admitted that challenges remained for the 2014 chapter of the summit.
The key objective is Asian trade and investment in Europe to reduce the global impact of the Eurozone crisis, Rompuy emphasized adding that steps to restructure banking, fiscal, economic and democratic frameworks in the region would continue.
“Eurozone is on the right track and growth is expected to pick up in 2013 but in an interlinked world where growth is a worldwide process, both regions need to work together to put the world back on a sustainable growth path,” he said at the closing ceremony.
He noted that the members had also had reaffirmed work on G20 and reforms on trade. He stressed the importance of keeping markets open to continue as a link between the two regions.
“Europe is open to negotiate investment agreements to boost level a playing field with Asia and welcome the latest members of the World Trade Organization as extending the global trade network. ”
Continued support was pledged by Rompuy on achieving the Millennium Development Goals and related poverty alleviation as well as meeting climate change targets. For the latter he called on members to support the upcoming climate talks in Doha.