Under the heading of “ASEM Goes Local: Challenges and Solutions,” the Governor of Jakarta, Dr. Fauzi Bowo, initiated a dialogue on the municipal level between governors and mayors of cities in the ASEM countries in Europe and Asia and hosted the 1st ASEM Meeting of Governors and Mayors (ASEM-MGM) from 28 to 29 October 2010 in Jakarta.

Capital cities and Metropolitan Areas in Asia and Europe with its most concentrated resources and potentials are the centers for creativity and innovations on their continents, the drivers of economic growth and prosperity, and also the nucleus for socio-political developments.

The ASEM Meeting for Governors and Mayors is intended to be a forum of cities and metropolitan regions of Asia and Europe that offers the opportunity to Asian and European cities, regions and municipalities to exchange experiences, to discuss local issues, to deepen their relationships and to stress the significance of the voice of the regions and cities in the international arena.

The 45 ASEM partners represent half of the world’s GDP, almost 60% of the world’s population and 60% of global trade. These numbers are going to be even increased once Russia and Australia will have officially joined ASEM on the occasion of the ASEM summit on October in Brussels.

ASEM MGM provides a forum to give the city leaders a voice in the framework of ASEM and also the opportunity for local self-governments to gain greater visibility of their objectives and interests through cooperation with local governments and within the wider international community.

The ASEM Meeting of Governors and Mayors in Jakarta is supposed to kick-off an ASEM Dialogue on the local level to be held on a regular basis, e.g. in two-years intervals, alternating between Asian and European cities.

Cities and metropolitan areas gain access to information of initiatives, resources and best practices of other cities from a different continent in order to work out new ways to ensure the strength and vitality of their cities in the future.