Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation Zhang Yan met with ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta on July 23 to discuss cooperation areas that benefit both sides.

Speaking at the meeting, Minh welcomed the visit by Zhang and expressed the readiness of the ASEAN Secretariat, as a full member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and Board of Governors of the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF), to collaborate with ASEF for the benefits of ASEM Partners.

He informed the guest of the recent developments in ASEAN and affirmed that the ASEAN Secretariat’s participation in ASEM and ASEF will contribute to the Asia-Europe cooperation, as well as ASEAN Community building efforts.

The Secretary-General viewed ASEM as a wider inter-regional framework that promotes constructive cooperation and dialogue between and among the Partners and was of the view that ASEAN attached importance to the ASEM process.

ASEM has contributed to fostering the environment and condition conducive for ASEAN Community building, peace, stability and development in the region, he said.

For his part, Zhang highlighted the important role ASEAN plays in the region as well as in Asia-Europe relations, expressing wish to foster cooperation between his foundation and the ASEAN Secretariat in a more practical and effective manner, bringing tangible results to both sides.

They exchanged views on possible areas of common interests for practical cooperation and collaboration, namely sustainable development, environment, public health, education, human resource development and culture.

During his visit, Zhang also met with and made a presentation on the works of ASEF to the ASEAN Secretariat staff and discussed possible practical cooperation and collaboration that could be pursued in the future.

ASEF was established in February 1997 under the framework of the ASEM process with the purpose to promote mutual understanding, deeper engagement and continued collaboration among the people of Asia and Europe through greater intellectual, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges between the two regions.-VNA