During the ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) held on 13-14 October 2014 in Milan, Italy, ASEM Senior Officials welcomed Thailand’s proposal to host the “ASEM Symposium on the Future Direction of ASEM”.

The main objective of the Symposium was to take stock of ASEM’s achievements so far and, in view of these achievements, set out ASEM’s future direction. Of particular interest is how to increase the involvement of non-governmental bodies in ASEM and how to increase ASEM’s relevance and visibility in the long-term.

The Symposium conducted a panel discussion comprised of 5 sessions namely:

  1. Overview session
  2. Political Pillar session
  3. Economic Pillar session
  4. Social and Cultural Pillar session
  5. Conclusion session

The discussions during sessions (2), (3) and (4) focused on 3 issues namely:

  1. Stocktaking of ASEM’s past challenges and opportunities;
  2. What do we wish ASEM to be in its third decade?; and
  3. Ways and means to achieve such objectives.