H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, welcomed the visit by H.E. Mr. Zhang Yan, Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation, yesterday at the ASEAN Secretariat.  SG Minh expressed the readiness of the ASEAN Secretariat, as a full member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and Board of Governors of the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF), to collaborate with ASEF for the benefits of ASEM Partners.

Executive Director Zhang expressed ASEF’s willingness to foster cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat to bring tangible results. They exchanged views on possible areas of mutual interests for practical cooperation and collaboration, namely sustainable development, environment, public health, education, human resource development and culture.

SG Minh also informed Executive Director Zhang on the recent developments in ASEAN and stated that the ASEAN Secretariat’s participation in ASEM and ASEF would contribute to the cooperation between the two continents of Asia and Europe, as well as complementing ASEAN Community building efforts. He viewed ASEM as a wider inter-regional framework that promotes constructive cooperation and dialogue between and among the Partners and was of the view that ASEAN attached importance to the ASEM process. ASEM has contributed to fostering the environment and condition conducive for ASEAN Community building, peace, stability and development in the region.

During the visit to the ASEAN Secretariat, Executive Director Zhang also met with and made a presentation on the works of ASEF to the staff and discussed possible practical cooperation and collaboration that could be pursued in the future.

ASEF was established in February 1997 under the framework of the ASEM process with the purpose to promote mutual understanding, deeper engagement and continuing collaboration among the people of Asia and Europe through greater intellectual, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges between the two regions.