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What is the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)?

ASEF is an intergovernmental not-for-profit organisation that:

ASEF was established in February 1997 by the partners of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and remains to this day the only established institution of ASEM. Although based in Singapore, ASEF operates in all ASEM countries. ASEF is funded by contributions from ASEM partners. Most of ASEF projects are also supported financially by civil society organisations, public institutions and businesses that ASEF works with. Since its inception, ASEF has initiated projects engaging over 17,000 individuals from Asia and Europe.

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What is the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)?

ASEM is an informal dialogue process among governments currently representing 51 Asian and European countries, plus the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union.

It aims to forge stronger relations between Asia and Europe, based on equal partnership, mutual respect and mutual benefits. Its activities are grouped into 3 pillars:

The inaugural meeting of ASEM leaders was in March 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand. Since then, ASEM Summits have been held every 2 years.

ASEM InfoBoard Website

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Who are the ASEM partners?

Since its inception, ASEM has gone through several stages of enlargement. Currently the 53 ASEM partners are: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Lao PDR, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Viet Nam, the ASEAN Secretariat and the European Union.

ASEM Infoboard Website

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What are ASEF's areas of work?

ASEF activities cover the following areas:

The activities under these thematic areas closely align to ASEM priorities.

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How is ASEF structured?

The Board of Governors is ASEF's decision-making body and represents the respective ASEM partners. The Governors are nominated by partner governments for a renewable period of 3 years. The Board meets thrice in a 2-year cycle and sets out the policy directions of ASEF.

ASEF is headed by the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director, who take management decisions based on directions and policy guidelines set out by ASEM governments and the ASEF Board of Governors. They are supported by the Executive Office. ASEF also has 4 programme departments which are supported by the Finance & Administration. These departments are:

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How are ASEF's projects supported and funded?

ASEF projects are generally co-organised with institutions from Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries. ASEF shares the cost of the event with the co-organiser(s). Grants given by ASEF to support initiatives are very limited.

Co-organisers and sponsors include:

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What is the procedure to organise a project in partnership with ASEF?

If you wish to organise a project in partnership with ASEF, please let us know at info@asef.org.

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How can I participate in ASEF projects?

Participation in projects carried out by ASEF is open to nationals from ASEM countries. Exceptions can be made, where a non-ASEM national may be critical for a project’s success. As different projects may have different requirements, please go to the relevant project web page on our website or contact the respective department for further information. All calls for applications are available on ASEF’s website.

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How can I join ASEF as an employee or an intern?

ASEM country nationals can apply for job and internship opportunities. You can apply by sending your CV and cover letter to hr@asef.org. Calls for vacant positions and internship opportunities are posted on the ASEF website. The requirements may vary from one position to another.

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How can I keep up with developments within ASEF?

ASEF publishes a monthly eNewsletter (ASEF eNewsletter). You can subscribe to ASEF eNewsletter directly from the ASEF website or by contacting us at info@asef.org.

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How can I order ASEF publications?

To order a publication, please contact us at info@asef.org.

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What does the ASEF logo mean?

The ASEF logo is a pictorial representation of the letters "a" for Asia and "e" for Europe in a multicoloured continuous strand twisted ribbon. The form of the letters also hints at a meeting of East and West. This logo "Embracing Diversity, Bridging Peoples, Shaping Partnerships" also reflects the objectives of ASEF's work over the past years, and for the years to come.

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