Organization boosts links between two continents' economies

( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-06-19 07:04:19

Despite the big differences in political systems, economic development and cultural norms among Asian and European countries, the two continents need to embrace the greater communication and cooperation opportunities brought about by expanding globalization and regional integration, said Xie Bohua, a senior official of the Asia-Europe Meeting.

Xie Bohua, senior official of the Asia-Europe Meeting

ASEM was founded in 1996 and aims to improve and increase cooperation in politics, economics and culture between Asia and Europe.

It is the largest intergovernmental organization for such activity between the two areas, with 51 countries in Asia and Europe, and two organizations - the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - as its members.

The population and GDP of ASEM members account for 60 percent of the world's total.

Organization boosts links between two continents' economies

As a founding member of ASEM, China put forward initiatives regarding digital connectivity, technological innovation, energy conservation, trade and investment facilitation, sustainable development and new urbanization as key agenda items.

The digital economy has increasingly become a fast-growth field for both areas in recent years, Xie said, adding that ASEM members hope to promote economic growth, create jobs and tap the innovation potential the sector holds.

The digital economy helps to reduce the barriers to information flow, improve efficiency of resources matching and narrow the imbalance of regional development by promoting the connectivity of industries, logistics, economy and trade, Xie noted.

The sector is currently the most active part of China's economic development, contributing nearly 30 percent of the country's GDP and creating 2.8 million new jobs in 2016.

Digital products and services from Chinese companies, including telecommunication giant Huawei, e-commerce leader Alibaba and internet service provider Tencent, have facilitated business exchanges between Asia and Europe, and injected new vigor into the economies where their technological solutions are offered, Xie said.

With the theme of unleashing potential for innovative growth, this year's ASEM High-Level Forum on Digital Connectivity, held in Qingdao, Shandong province, on June 19 and 20 is co-sponsored by Singapore, Myanmar, Romania and Croatia and has attracted over 600 participants, including high-level delegations from Cambodia, Cyprus, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar and Romania as well as the representatives of other members of ASEM.

Organization boosts links between two continents' economies

(China Daily 06/19/2017 page24)

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