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SPEECH/10/515

José Manuel Durão Barroso

President of the European Commission

Statement by President Barroso following the ASEM Summit

Press conference

Brussels, 5th October 2010

Thanks. I agree that this was an excellent Summit. President Van Rompuy has already presented a very clear summary of the work of these two days. I just want to underline two points that I believe are important.

First of all, the importance of this kind of Summits. I think it should not be underestimated that the leaders of the European Union and Asia meet and discuss very openly all matters of concern.

If I can make a personal remark - this was my 5th ASEM summit, considering also the ones I attended in my national capacity, and I think I can say it was the most interesting in terms of fruitful discussion and openness of discussion. And the leaders of Europe and Asia were in a very open manner discussing the situation on both continents and the ways to achieve greater degree of consensus.

In fact, the events of the recent years have made it clearer than ever how interdependent all the regions of the world are – namely Europe and Asia. So we need to find common ground and agree on coordinated action between our two continents in order to tackle the pressing issues for our citizens.

Let us be clear: globalisation has brought enormous benefits to the world, and in particular to Europe and Asia, but there are many concerns in the world regarding globalisation. This is why we need to have as much as possible a coordinated approach.

Thanks to their openness, many countries in Asia have seen economic growth and progress. This has allowed millions of their citizens to get out of poverty and Asia is now probably the most dynamic region of the world in economic terms.

As the major economic and trade bloc, Europe has of course also benefited from openness. And, as the world's leading donor, accounting for more than 50% of all development aid, Europe is also helping other countries to benefit as well. That's why we need to meet, Asia and Europe, to see how to make globalisation a success for all our citizens and for the world, namely we need to make sure that our globalisation process is balanced and it makes available benefits for everybody and that we need to work on a global concepts of sustainability.

And at today's Summit, we have gone a long way in reaching consensus on that point with our ASEM friends. In fact the Brussels Declaration on effective global economic governance is a very good example of this acceptance of the need for coordinated actions regarding global governance.

And with this in mind, and this is my second point, I am looking forward to the next G20 meeting in Seoul. It was high time that G20 leaders met in Asia, and I am sure Korea will chair this summit with wisdom and foresight. Together with President Van Rompuy we will represent the European Union and we will do everything for the success of that summit.

I believe our discussions with our Asian partners during the last two days have laid the ground for a successful G20 Summit.

The European Commission is committed to the success of the G20 Summit, and will bring to it a substantive contribution in areas such as financial and economic regulation, trade, climate protection, etc.

I am happy to say that we have a very good convergence of views with our Korean friends in many areas of work. I particularly share President Lee's intention to make development one of the major topics of our G20 work.

To conclude:

During the last two days, we addressed in a productive way many of the global challenges of the world. We have done it in the spirit of openness and constructive engagement. I would like very sincerely to thank and congratulate our Belgian hosts, Prime Minister Leterme and his government, for a perfect organisation that has allowed an excellent exchange of views among us and facilitated a high level of agreement.

I believe our common work will allow for a better future, not only for the peoples of Europe and Asia, but to all the citizens of the world.


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