The 5th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM5) was held on 7-9 October 2004 in Hanoi, Viet Nam with the participation of 39 Partners. It was a historic landmark in Asia-Europe relations. ASEM5 welcomed 10 new EU Member States (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia) as well as 3 new ASEAN countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar). As stated in the conclusions of the External Relations Council (GAERC) on 13 September 2004, the participation of Myanmar was accepted with the expectation that the participation of the Government of Myanmar at the ASEM Summit would be lower than Head of State/Government level.

The Summit addressed first regional developments in Asia and in Europe. With regards to Asia, there was a discussion on recent developments in the multilateral regional framework following the 9th ASEAN Summit in October 2003 in Bali, Indonesia, the development in the ASEAN+3 dialogue (between ASEAN + China, Korea and Japan). As for Europe, the discussion was on the enlargement of the European Union and the new Constitution adopted by the EU.

Under international developments and new global challenges, leaders discussed how ASEM can contribute to a multilateral approach to international relation, in particular at the United Nations level. The Summit was also an opportunity to reaffirm ASEM Partners’ commitments to work together to tackle major international security threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Under the economic pillar, leaders looked at ways to promote the Asia-Europe economic partnership in the context of globalisation and trade regionalism. In particular, leaders discussed trade liberalization and recent developments in the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The issue of a possible Asia Bonds Market was also in the discussion, as well as the relationship between business sector and Governments in the framework of ASEM.

Leaders also took forward the dialogue of cultures and civilisations and discussed way to promote cultural diversity and national cultures in the age of information technology and globalisation.