The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

October 16, 2014
photo1 (Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
  1. On Thursday, October 16, from 15:15 to 17:15 (local time), Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the First Plenary Session of the ASEM10held in Milan, entitled "Promoting Financial and Economic Cooperation through Enhanced Europe-Asia Connectivity." During the session, there was an exchange of opinions on the session themes of economic revitalization, fiscal reconstruction, enhancing Europe-Asia connectivity, and other issues.
  2. As the lead speaker of this session, Prime Minister Abe gave an address following the opening remarks by the Chair of the session, H.E. Mr. Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council (EC).

    Based on the theme of the session, the Prime Minister: (1) stated that Europe and Asia, including Japan, should act as engines driving the global economy, and that economic and fiscal reform was indispensable for this; (2) explained the achievements of the three arrows of Abenomics with specific data; and (3) said that the enhancing of connectivity between Europe and Asia was vital for growth in both regions, and that with the Growth Strategy amended in June, Japan would contribute to further joining together Asia and Europe at the regional level through "trade and investment", based on a foundation of "infrastructure", and with "the power of people".

    Specifically, Prime Minister Abe explained that: (a) regarding trade and investment, Japan will promote economic collaboration, strengthen corporate governance, and lower the effective corporate tax rate; (b) regarding infrastructure, Japan will make its mark in the world by ensuring the safety and trustworthiness of the transportation, energy, and other types of infrastructure it builds; and (c) regarding people, Japan will implement measures to promote the flow of people, including highly skilled foreign nationals, foreign nationals studying technology, and tourists, among Europe, Asia, and Japan.
  3. Following Prime Minister Abe, the leaders of France, China, and Finland also spoke as lead speakers, followed by remarks from the representatives of each participating country, including their heads of state.

    In particular, there were many opinions expressing the need to thoroughly promote economic growth, stating that they should focus on infrastructure to strengthen the connectivity. Leaders also exclaimed the importance of making growth consistent with environment through sustainable growth and inclusiveness, reducing poverty and promoting youth employment. It was also pointed out that many countries in Asia and Europe experienced the economic crisis and reform and leadership are important in overcoming economic crises.

    Additionally, some of the participants mentioned the importance of free trade and FTAs between the European Union (EU) and Asian countries in particular. It was also indicated that a win-win situation could be created when Asia makes use of the advanced technology of the EU, while the EU makes use of the markets of Asia, through the construction of a free trade system between the EU and Asia.

    Furthermore, some members stated on upholding international law, human trafficking issues, the importance of peace and stability, the promotion of women similarly to Prime Minister Abe, issues related to the use of the internet and cyber-security, the safety of nuclear power, and other matters.

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