On 1-2 March 1996, the Heads of State and Government from 10 Asian nations and 15 European nations, the President of the Council of the European Union, and the President of the European Commission, convened in Bangkok, Thailand, for the inauguration of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)– an intergovernmental process established to foster dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe. This was the 1st ASEM Summit, which paved the way for the establishment of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF).