9th Asia/Europe Summit with the participation of José Manuel Barroso
José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, went to Vientiane to participate in the 9th Asia/Europe Summit (ASEM) in the presence of Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council. During the joint press conference José Manuel Barroso stressed the central role of Europe/Asia relations in the world and the importance of addressing global challenges jointly. He also recalled Europe's key role in Asia's recent development both through partnership in Trade and through development aid targeted at the poorest in the region. The President then pledged for a joint approach towards common challenges, highlighting that achieving sustainable development on a planet of finite resources was a challenge that could only be addressed jointly. This ASEM9 Summit brought together 51 ASEM Partners from Europe and Asia. Norway, Switzerland and Bangladesh were joining for the first time. The two-day talks focused on economic, financial, global and regional issues, social and cultural cooperation and the future direction of ASEM and Asia/Europe relations.