New Delhi: The 13th ASEM Summit will be held virtually from today. The theme of the two-day summit is Strengthening Multilateralism for Shared Growth. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will lead the Indian Delegation for the Summit, which is expected to see participation from all 51 member countries and ASEAN and European Union. This Summit will also mark the 25th anniversary of the ASEM process.
The 13th Summit is being hosted by Cambodia as ASEM Chair. A number of Heads of States and Heads of Government are expected to participate in the Summit. ASEM Agenda for 2021 will prioritize on issues related to strengthening multilateralism, post-Pandemic Socio-Economic Recovery and Development as well as other regional and global issues of common interest and concern.
Along with the Opening Ceremony, Vice President will also participate in the First Plenary Session as well as the Retreat Session of the Summit and will exchange views on areas like reformed multilateralism, fight against pandemic and post-pandemic recovery, mitigating global climate change, Sustainable Development Goals SDG, maritime safety and security.
ASEM is a platform for the countries in Asia and Europe to exchange views on regional and global issues and strengthen cooperation on a wide range of areas emanating from its three pillars – political and security, economic and financial and socio-cultural. The ASEM grouping comprises of 51 member countries and 2 regional organizations – European Union and ASEAN. Countries in the grouping represent 65 per cent of global GDP, 60 per cent of the global population, 75 per cent of global tourism and 55 per cent of global trade. The ASEM Summit is a biennial event alternating between country in Asia and Europe and is the foremost event of ASEM process to set its priorities for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the areas of political, economic, financial, social, cultural, and educational issues of common interest in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. India joined ASEM process in 2006. The 7th ASEM Summit held in 2008 saw the first Summit level participation from India.