Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu attended the opening ceremony of the 12th Asia-Europe meeting summit in Brussels on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, he met King Philip, the King of the Belgians at the Presidential Palace. The two leaders discussed their expectations from the 2018 Summit which is centred on the theme, “Global Partners for Global Challenges”.
Vice President elaborated on the priority accorded by India to the urgent need for collective efforts of the global community in addressing the menace of terrorism. He also shared his perspective on the successful flagship initiatives of the Government of India including innovative governance to address the complex challenges faced the country as the world’s largest democracy and to simultaneously put India on a faster, inclusive growth and development trajectory.
India thanked Belgium for its consistent support for its candidacies at the UN and other international organizations. India also thanked Belgium for its support to its candidacy at the UNSC for the term 2021-22. Both sides expressed their commitment to boost investment, trade and people to people ties.
Later in the evening, the Vice President interacted with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa.
He also met the President of European Council, Donald TUSK and the President of European Commission, Jean-Claude JUNCKER, at the Europa Building. He also met the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the ASEM summit. His bilateral meetings with world leaders will continue on Friday as well while the second plenary session is underway.
The key characters of ASEM are Informal Process of dialogue and cooperation between European and Asian countries with a special stress on equal partnership, high level and people to people link. It also offers a platform to discuss regional and international issue.
As per estimates ASEM represents around 62.3% of the world’s population and 57% of the global GDP and almost 60% of world trade. This massive economic strength of the region is the main reason for high-level engagements between the 53 partners- 30 European and 21 Asian countries, the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat. Keeping the dynamics in mind, India joined the ASEM in 2006 with effect from January 1, 2007.
Ever since the inclusion, India has always been an active participant. India held its first summit level participation in October 2008, when then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh lead the delegation to Beijing. In 2010, then Vice President Hamid Ansari, in 2012, then Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, in 2014, Gen VK Singh lead the Indian delegation. Then Vice President Ansari attended the 11th ASEM held at Ulaanbaatar in Mangolia.