Scientists from the EU and
the Asian partner countries are to concentrate their efforts in the following
areas (with the key partners):
- Forestry: China and Finland
- Aquaculture: China, Greece and Belgium
- Clean industrial production: Austria, Denmark and
- Water: China, France and Portugal
- Food safety: Malaysia and the European Commission
Workshops have been completed for each of the key areas.
These have provided clear focus for S&T cooperation, and the necessary
operational support has been identified.
In all five cases, emphasis was placed on networking
through ASEM platforms. Regional leadership and coordination will be supplied
by a limited number of coordinators from each region, though work will
remain open to all ASEM partners. Strategic focus will be provided by
a small steering committee of three to five ‘leading lights’
who will represent stakeholders from science, the private sector, public
bodies and civil society.
Activities will be organised around a limited number
of thematic networks, perhaps three or four. Platform coordinators will
be responsible for tasks such as providing information and financial support.
The platforms will reflect the informal nature of the
ASEM process, by operating in an open, flexible and non-bureaucratic way.
ASEM partners will be expected to offer support when necessary, and especially
in the next six to 12 months as the platforms draw up their action plans
(which are likely to last for up to five years).
(1) The ASEM partners
are: the EU's 15 Member States, the European Commission, China, Japan,
Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnaml, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia,