Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu will lead the Indian delegation to attend the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, scheduled to be held on 18-19 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. The bi-annual event is considered the highest platform for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe in the areas of trade, investment, security and tourism. This will also be the first multilateral summit that Vice President will be attending after taking office in August 2017.
The theme of this years’ ASEM Summit is “Global Partners for Global Challenges”. The 2018 Summit, hosted by the European Union will be chaired by the President of the European Council. A number of Heads of States / Heads of Government are expected to participate in the Summit. ASEM Agenda for 2018 will prioritize issues related to connectivity, trade and investment, sustainable development, climate change terrorism, migration, maritime security and cyberspace.
Apart from the Opening Ceremony, Vice President will participate in the Plenary Session and have interactions with the various stakeholders. In addition, Vice President will call on the King of the Belgians. He will also have bilateral meetings with the Heads of State / Government from Austria, Portugal, Switzerland and other countries on the sidelines of the Summit.
On 20 October 2018, Vice President will address the Indian Diaspora at the Jain Culture Centre in Wilrijk, Antwerp. Vice President will also pay respects and offer floral tribute at a sculpture of Mahatma Gandhi located in the Governorate of Antwerp.
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 55% of global trade, 60% global population, 65% of global GDP and 75% of global tourism.
Many side events have also been organized over the course of one month in Brussels in connection with ASEM. At the ASEM cultural festival, India’s rich heritage in the performing arts will be showcased in a Kathakali presentation of the Spanish masterpiece, ‘Don Quixote’ in collaboration with the Spanish Cultural Institute, Cervantes.