The Indian delegation will be led by Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu during the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which will be held on November 25th and 26th, according to an official statement released on November 24th. The summit, entitled “Strengthening Multilateralism for Common Growth”, will be held digitally and will include all 51 member countries plus ASEAN and the European Union. ASEM consists of 51 member countries and two regional organizations; the European Union and ASEAN. The grouping countries account for 65 % of world GDP, 60% of world population, 75% of world tourism and 55% of world trade.

The ASEM Summit is a biennial event between Asian and European countries and is the main event in the ASEM process to set priorities for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe on issues of common interest in the fields Politics, economics, finance, social affairs, culture and education in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership. According to the press release, India joined the ASEM process in 2006. The Indian delegation attended the seventh ASEM summit in 2008 for the first time.

Cambodia is hosting the ASEM summit

The summit will also commemorate the 25th anniversary of the ASEM process. The summit will be hosted by Cambodia as ASEM chair and a number of leaders are expected. According to the State Department’s press release, ASEM’s 2021 agenda would highlight issues such as multilateralism, socio-economic recovery and post-pandemic development, as well as other regional and global issues of common interest and concern.

In addition to the opening ceremony, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu will speak at the Summit’s first plenary and retreat sessions where he will discuss reformed multilateralism, pandemic preparedness and recovery, global climate change mitigation, sustainable development goals (SDGs) and maritime security and Safety. ASEM is a forum for Asian and European countries to exchange their perspectives on regional and global issues and to deepen cooperation in a variety of areas that arise from its three pillars: politics and security, economy and finance, and socio-cultural nature.

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