Solving global issues together

Virtual Asia-Europe summit Solving global issues together

Speaking at the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Federal Chancellor Merkel stressed the importance of the economic links between Europe and Asia. Open and fair global trade was crucial for global economic recovery, she said. The motto of this year’s summit is “Strengthening multilateralism for shared growth”.

Federal Chancellor Merkel attending an ASEM summit meeting via video link.

Federal Chancellor Merkel attends the Asia-Europe summit: institutions such as the World Trade Organisation have to be strengthened once again.

Photo: Federal Government/Denzel

The two-day deliberations at the ASEM summit will focus on how to strengthen cooperation between the two continents in order to boost growth together. In view of the change in the global political situation since the founding of ASEM 25 years ago, it was vital to provide fresh impetus, said Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, adding that global issues could frequently only be solved by working together.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) brings together 30 European and 21 Asian countries as well as the leaders of the EU and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) . This year it is being held on 25/26 November via video link: the meeting originally planned for the end of 2020 in Phnom Penh (Cambodia) had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Strengthening multilateral institutions

Federal Chancellor Merkel stressed that multilateral institutions such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had to be strengthened once again. Rule-based action guaranteed fairness and predictability in relations, she said, thereby enabling closer cooperation in spite of the political and economic differences between the ASEM countries.

The biennial meetings were launched in 1996 at the height of global multilateral cooperation. Since then, the global political situation has changed and there are now a number of multilateral institutions that are in need of reform.