EU-Asia Summit to Open in Brussels

Bulgaria in EU | October 4, 2010, Monday // 17:04|  views

EC President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) welcomes Prime Minister of Thailand, Abhisit Vejjajiva for a bilateral meeting, as part of the first day of the eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), at the EC in Brussels, 04 October 2010. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Climate change, aftermath of the global financial crisis and IMF seats are expected to be the main topics of the three-day talks during the eighth biannual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Brussels.

ASEM, which includes the 27 EU member states and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is set to begin Monday.

It is viewed as a chance for the EU to tighten its connections to the Asian region.

Economic topics are supposed to dominate the meeting. The participating countries represent about half the world's GDP and 60% of the global trade.

The unofficial talks will probably include the topics like combating piracy at sea, fight against terrorism, nuclear weapons and human rights.

The ASEM summit will be followed by bilateral EU-China summit on Wednesday. Trade and currency issues are expected to be the main topics of discussion.

An additional EU-South Korea summit is scheduled for Wednesday, when the two sides are expected to sign "the most ambitious free-trade agreement the EU has ever negotiated," as an EU diplomat has announced prior to the meeting.

The deal, negotiated by officials a year ago, is expected to boost trade by more than EUR 30 B annually after it comes into force on July 1, 2011.

During the talks, a main topic between the EU and South Korea would also be the agreement on equal access to one another's airspace.

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Tags: EU, Asia, summit, China, South Korea, IMF, ASEM, ASEAN

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