Commentary: Joining hands to overcome difficulties

14 October 2014

Source: Xinhua (China)
Source type: News Agency
Published on: 27 May 2009

A two-day gathering of foreign ministers and delegates from 45 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) members has sent a strong signal that ASEM members are committed to joining hands to overcome difficulties.

The 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting closed here on Tuesday. It is the first official foreign ministerial gathering of 45 ASEM members since its second enlargement.

As expected by all partners, it turned out concrete measures to implement three important documents adopted at last year's Beijing ASEM 7, including the Statement on the International Financial Situation, the Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development and the Chair's Statement.

Held in the context of deepening global financial crisis, the foreign ministers' meeting chose its theme to be "Forge a closer Asia-Europe partnership to tackle financial and economic crisis and other global challenges."

Participants at the two-day discussion exchanged views on strengthening cooperation, combating crisis, recent developments in regional and international situations, dialogue among cultures and civilizations and future of ASEM.

They have reached broad consensus with a Chair's Statement passed at the end of the meeting.

According to the statement, ministers rejected protectionism and opposed to measures to introducing or raising barrier to trade and investment.

Ministers believed that the international financial system should be further reformed towards the orientations of open, equitable, inclusive and rule-based.

Ministers unanimously held that countries should further implement the statement passed at the Beijing ASEM 7 on the international financial situation and the consensus reached at the London G20 Summit.

Ministers pinned the hope for worldwide economic recovery in 2010. According to the statement, they believed that the world economic might start recovering next year with concerted efforts through close cooperation and coordination.

In the past 13 years, ASEM has seen growing importance. The aggregated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of ASEM members now accounts for half of the world GDP and their trade takes up sixty percent of world total.

As Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi put it, ASEM is a government-level forum between Asia and Europe of the highest level and largest scale.

With deepening globalizations, it is believed that the destinies of Asian and European countries are tied together and their cooperation draws worldwide attention. Joining hands to overcome difficulties for a win-win situation and mutual benefit is the only strategic option for Asian and European countries.

China, the world largest developing country, has been committed to promoting Asia-Europe cooperation. Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi at the meeting made five proposals for ASEM to intensify cooperation, deepen mutual trust and build a new and closer Asia-Europe partnership.

It is hoped that ASEM members could effectively join hands to turn the challenges into opportunity and lift world economy out of the downturn.

By Huang Haimin, Hanqiao