Eurasia partnership pledge

Updated: 2012-11-07 07:52

(China Daily)

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As one of the largest gatherings of the world's political leaders this year, the two-day Asia-Europe Meeting, which concluded in Vientiane, Laos, on Tuesday, has proven valuable in building mutual understanding and cementing partnerships between the two continents.

The message from the meeting was the two continents will seek to promote new initiatives for greater cooperation.

The pledge to expand cooperation will not only bring real benefits to the people of Asia and Europe, it will also help boost confidence in the global economic recovery. The ASEM countries account for about 60 percent of the world's population and more than 60 percent of global trade.

As a multilateral platform, the biennial summits have become an important stage for Asia and Europe to discuss the world economy and regional and global issues of mutual concern.

Over the 16 years since ASEM was founded, trade links between ASEM partners have grown increasingly stronger, and Asia has made significant advances.

Today, Asian economies are no longer just exporters and recipients of European investment. They buy increasingly more goods from their European counterparts and actively participate in global finance and governance.

The growing clout of Asia means it is a win-win strategy for countries in Asia and Europe to build stronger ties and reach broader consensus, so that they can respond to challenges and opportunities together in a more active way.

China, for its part, has increased its interaction with the countries of both continents. With Europe mired in its debt crisis, it has made earnest efforts to help. Its imports from European countries have continually grown, and in June it announced it will contribute $43 billion to the recapitalization of the International Monetary Fund, one of the key players managing to keep several debt-ridden European countries afloat.

Premier Wen Jiabao put forward a new proposal to promote the steady growth of the world economy during the ASEM meeting, and Wen made clear when addressing the summit meeting that China will support every effort the two continents make to boost cooperation in energy security and disaster prevention and mitigation.

ASEM partners should strive to fulfill their pledge to engage in a stronger and more dynamic partnership and create a more sustainable and balanced global growth.

(China Daily 11/07/2012 page8)