The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was launched in 1996 to further cooperation between Asia and Europe.  It was conceived by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong as a platform to strengthen links between Asia and Europe. The three main pillars of ASEM cooperation are political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation.  Since its inaugural summit in 1996, ASEM has grown from the initial 26 to 53 partners today.  A total of 11 Summits have taken place. 


PM Lee Hsien Loong attended the 11th ASEM Summit in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 15 to 16 July 2016.  As it was ASEM’s 20th anniversary, the theme of the Summit was “20 Years of ASEM: A Partnership for the Future”.  At the Summit, Leaders exchanged views on global and regional issues of mutual interest, and discussed how to strengthen Asia-Europe cooperation as well as the future direction of ASEM.  PM Lee spoke on counter-terrorism and how to improve connectivity between Europe and Asia.  Two outcome documents were issued, the 11th ASEM Summit Chair Statement, and the Ulaanbaatar Declaration, an aspirational document charting ASEM’s path as it enters its third decade. 

Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman attended the 12th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Luxembourg from 5 to 6 November 2015, which had the theme “Working Together for a Sustainable and Secure Future”.

More information on ASEM can be found at


The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), located in Singapore, was established under the aegis of ASEM in February 1997 to promote greater mutual understanding between Asia and Europe through intellectual, cultural and people-to-people exchanges.  Through ASEF, civil society concerns are incorporated into deliberations of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).  ASEF has engaged over 17,000 direct participants through more than 600 projects in the realms of governance and human rights, economy and society, sustainable development and environment, public health, arts and culture and academic co-operation and education. 

More information on ASEF can be found at


Under the ASEM DUO Fellowship Fund, the DUO-Singapore Exchange Fellowship is awarded by the Singapore government to fund several pairs of student exchanges a year between students from Singapore universities and students from universities of European ASEM countries. The fund aims to promote student exchanges between European and Asian ASEM members. To date, students from faculties including accountancy, biological sciences, business, economics, engineering and law, have benefited from the programme.

More information on the award can be found at

Last updated: December 2016