MILAN -- The 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) concluded on Oct 17, with leaders pledging to promote financial and economic cooperation through enhanced Asia-Europe connectivity.
The two-day summit was hosted by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and chaired by European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.
Leaders from 51 Asian and European countries, EU institutions and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) exchanged views on several issues, including traditional and non-traditional security challenges during the summit.
Leaders reaffirmed ASEM as an important platform for political dialogue, economic cooperation, and cultural and social exchange.
Concerning the future direction of the ASEM, leaders underlined the importance of developing activities and fresh thinking and of involving all stakeholders, including civil society organizations and the media, to enhance ASEM visibility and relevance.
The 11th ASEM summit will be held in Mongolia in 2016, also marking the 20th anniversary of the ASEM, Van Rompuy said at the closing ceremony.
Launched in 1996, the biennial ASEM summit has served as a venue for dialogue between Asian and European countries. The ASEM now includes 53 countries after the accession of Kazakhstan and Croatia during this summit.