ASEM Summit

ASEM Summit

Kamaraj IAS Academy | ASEM Summit
  • October 17, 2018, 5:19 pm


The 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM12) will be held on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. The bi-annual event is considered as the highest platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the areas of trade, investment, security and tourism. The theme of the ASEM Summit is ‘Global Partners for Global Challenges’.

Leaders will seek to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the two continents on a wide range of areas, including:

  • Trade & investment
  • Connectivity
  • Sustainable development and climate
  • Security challenges such as terrorism, non-proliferation, cyber-security, irregular migration


ASEM was officially established on 1 March 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand. The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an Asian–European political dialogue forum to enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between its partners.

Established by 15 members of the European Union (EU) and the European Commission, the then 7 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and the individual countries of China, Japan, and South Korea.

A series of enlargements saw additional EU members join as well as India, Mongolia, Pakistan and the ASEAN Secretariat in 2008, Australia, New Zealand and the Russian Federation in 2010, Bangladesh, Norway, and Switzerland in 2012, as well as Croatia and Kazakhstan in 2014.


The main components of the ASEM process rest on the following 3 pillars:

  1. Political & Security Pillar
  2. Economic & Financial Pillar
  3. Social, Cultural & Educational Pillar


ASEM represents around 62.3% of the world's population, 57.2% of the global GDP and almost 60% of the world's trade. Throughout its evolution, ASEM has maintained a consistent edge as a forum for political dialogue between member countries with diverse and complementing capacities.


India is an active participant in ASEM. The following initiatives have been taken by India in the last two years under the areas identified for tangible cooperation:-

  1. Energy Efficiency in Green Buildings
  2. Cooperation between Asia & Europe in Life Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Medical Devices Sector
  3. Innovations in Technologies for Disaster Rescue Efforts amongst ASEM countries

India is a Member of the ASEM Working Group on Press and Public Awareness Management Strategy. India also successfully hosted the 11th ASEM Customs Directors General/ Commissioners meeting.

The Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) is the only permanently established institution of ASEM. India regularly contributed US$100,000 annually to ASEF since becoming a member of ASEM in 2007 till 2010 to support collaborative initiatives being undertaken by ASEF. Increased annual contribution of US$ 120,000 is being made by India from 2011 onwards.

The 20th anniversary celebrations of ASEM were held in 2016. India was a Member of the ASEM Working Group on the 20th Anniversary Celebrations.