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Divergences in Asia, Disunion in Europe: Cross-perception Views

ASEF Outlook Report 2014/2015 – Facts & Perspectives

On 10 April 2015, ASEF with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised the launch of the ASEF Outlook Report 2014/2015 in Singapore.

Following the welcome remarks from Ambassador ZHANG Yan, ASEF’s Executive Director, Mr Zainal Arif MANTAHA, Director-General (Europe) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, gave a speech on ASEF’s relevance in fostering people-to-people connections between Asian and European countries. Subsequently, Ambassador Tormod C. ENDRESEN, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Singapore and ASEF Governor for Norway, officially launched the ASEF Outlook Report 2014/2015, expressing his thanks to ASEF for its efforts in publishing this report.

Following the official launch, a panel discussion was held between Professor HUANG Jing, Director of the Centre on Asia and Globalisation, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, and Mr Jean-François DI MEGLIO, President, Asia Centre, moderated by Dr YEO Lay Hwee, Director, European Union Centre in Singapore.

During the discussion, Prof. HUANG highlighted that despite the fact that Asia and Europe are so different, there is a growing need to bring both continents together. He stated that both continents faced numerous problems, which could only be solved by the combined efforts of both regions in order to survive and modernise themselves. Mr DI MEGLIO expressed his concern on Europe’s growing inward-looking policy and it’s diminishing financial commitments to the other regions, specifically Asia. Furthermore he stated that European leaders may consider Asia to be less important as they increasingly focus on home-based problems. In sum, he emphasised the potential to establish and reinforce links with Asia.

This event was organised in conjunction with Model ASEM Singapore 2015 and raised a number of issues on the Asia-Europe relations that Model ASEM delegates tackled in the following 3 days.