ASEM IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD

21 June 2017 - 17:00 - 22 June 2017 - 19:00
Bart Gaens, Shada Islam, Patrick Jeanne, Haroon Sheikh
Introduction

More than ever before, this is the right time for a strategic Asia-Europe conversation on shared global challenges. Geopolitical uncertainties triggered by US President Donald Trump, Britain's decision to leave the EU, the growing attraction of populist leaders and rising global inequalities, heighten the need for dialogue and debate among Asian and European policymakers and parliamentarians, business leaders, academics and civil society representatives, including young people. With its informal format and flexible structure, ASEM offers a unique platform for an open, no holds-barred brainstorm on issues of mutual interest. It is the need for just such a conversation that led to the creation of ASEM 21 years ago. The platform for networking, dialogue and cooperation it provides makes ASEM even more essential in an interdependent and complex world. As the challenges change and evolve, ASEM can and should acquire renewed geostrategic relevance and increased credibility. Making ASEM fit for purpose in a volatile and turbulent world will, however, require changes in the focus, working methods and ambitions of ASEM.

  • Has the new ‘Age of Uncertainty’ increased the strategic and geopolitical relevance of ASEM or will ASEM lose traction and importance in the coming years?
  • Should ASEM change its working methods in order to adapt to new challenges and a rapidly-evolving world order, including unexpected challenges to rules-based international frameworks?
  • Given conflicting signals on global trade liberalisation, is it time for a more forceful and practical ASEM conversation on economic issues including trade and investments?
  • Can ASEM play a more central role than it has so far in generating, nourishing and disseminating new ideas about concepts like connectivity and the challenge of living and working together in a globalised world?

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ASEM IN A FAST-CHANGING WORLD

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Topics

Europe’s relationship with Asia and Africa is expanding, reflecting the increasing global importance of emerging economies. We track these developments through our Asia Programme and Europe-China Forum, and through our work looking at the EU vision and strategy towards China, India, Japan and ASEAN, and its role in the Asia-Europe Meeting.

Programme
17.00 – 17.30

Welcome and registration of participants

17.30 – 19.00

Policy insight

19.00

Cocktail

Moderators
Shada Islam
Director Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for the Asia Programme and for the Development Policy Forum. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian issues at the European Policy Centre. She is closely involved with initiatives to promote Asia-Europe exchanges including within the context of ASEM (Asia Europe Meetings). As a journalist, Shada also worked extensively on development questions including relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states as well as on world trade, including the Doha Round. Shada continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications.
Speakers
Bart Gaens
Senior Research Fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs (FIIA)
Bart Gaens is an experienced academic whose research has as a main focus the relations between Europe and Asia. Prior to his current position, Gaens led a research project on the EU’s relations with Asia at the University of Helsinki Network for European Studies and worked as an advisor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland during the preparation of the ASEM6 Summit. He has published extensively on Europe-Asia interregional relations, with special focus on the ASEM process.
Shada Islam
Director Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for the Asia Programme and for the Development Policy Forum. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian issues at the European Policy Centre. She is closely involved with initiatives to promote Asia-Europe exchanges including within the context of ASEM (Asia Europe Meetings). As a journalist, Shada also worked extensively on development questions including relations between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states as well as on world trade, including the Doha Round. Shada continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications.
Patrick Jeanne
Senior Manager Government Relations & Traffic Rights at Cargolux Airlines
Cargolux Airlines is Europe’s biggest all-cargo airline, and has a strong presence in Asia, with regular flights to and from major Asian hubs including Zhengzhou, Singapore, Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur. With more than 15 years of experience at Cargolux Airlines, Patrick Jeanne is currently a Senior Manager for Government Relations and Traffic Rights. He previously worked at the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER).
Haroon Sheikh
Author of “The Rise of the East: a Look at the New World Order”
Haroon Sheikh, a senior researcher and strategist at FreedomLab and investment company Dasym, has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and China. His new book “The Rise of the East: a Look at the New World Order” is an account of Sheikh’s impressions and the many conversations he has had while travelling, narrated in the form of a single, extended journey. In this book, Sheikh surveys the altered, 21st-century geopolitical and economic relations on the Eurasian continent.
Registration
Clotilde Sipp, Programme Manager
Tel: +32 2 893 98 12
Email: clotilde.sipp@friendsofeurope.org

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