During the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM10) Summit in October 2014, Croatia and Kazakhstan officially joined the ASEM process as its 52nd and 53rd members. Subsequently, Croatia and Kazakhstan became members of the ASEF family as well. On 12 February 2015, Ambassador ZHANG Yan, ASEF’s Executive Director, paid the very first official visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Croatia in Zagreb. Ms Dubravka Plejic MARKOVIC, ASEF Governor for Croatia and Ambassador ZHANG exchanged initial ideas on potential cooperation between the MFA and ASEF. Ambassador ZHANG also met with other MFA officials as well as representatives from Croatian institutions and had good discussions about the prospects for future cooperation between the two organisations.
Additionally, Ambassador ZHANG took the opportunity and paid visits to Bulgaria and Romania, both of which joined the ASEM process and the ASEF family in 2008. As relatively new members, both Bulgaria and Romania have been strong supporters of ASEF and its activities both politically and financially. ASEF would like to maintain the good working relationship with the Governments of Bulgaria and Romania, and are looking forward to new initiatives with the two countries. Furthermore, Ambassador ZHANG visited Brussels again and met with Mr Michael MATTHIESSEN, ASEF Governor for the European Union and representatives from the EuropeAid – European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), which has been the largest financial contributor to ASEF.
Ambassador ZHANG will visit Kazakhstan for the first time in April 2015.