The year 2012 marked a milestone, the 15th Anniversary of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), as we celebrated our past accomplishments.
2012 was also a significant year with the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM9) successfully held in November in Vientiane, Lao PDR. It witnessed the expansion of ASEM to 51 members, with Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland joining the ASEM process as well as the ASEF family.
At the turn of the year, it is an occasion to also look into the future. For the next four years, ASEF will build on its past success and strive for new achievements. I have begun my tenure as the ASEF Executive Director in the beginning of November 2012. Together with my colleague from Germany, Mr Karsten Warnecke, as the Deputy Executive Director and the entire team we will redouble our efforts to bring ASEF closer to the ASEM process and ensure added value, with a view towards meeting the diversified and growing aspirations of all ASEM partners and their people.
On behalf of ASEF, I am looking forward to working with all our stakeholders, partners, participants and other supporters. We value your continuous support, which is vital to the effective functioning of ASEF.
We would like to keep in touch with you and welcome you to join us in our activities next year.
Ambassador Zhang Yan
As this year comes to a close, resolutions are in order. Having started my tenure as the ASEF Deputy Executive Director in August 2012, I had time to observe, to learn and to experience, and to contemplate the best way for ASEF to move forward in 2013.
Aside from continuing to develop, produce and enhance quality programmes in line with the ASEM process, we will strive to further improve our operations in the coming year. This will include maximising the utilisation of our current resources, ensuring our financial sustainability, and improving our internal and external communications.
Together with the entire team of ASEF, I am looking forward to continue working with all of you. Let us join hands in continuing to promote better relations between Asia and Europe.
Wishing you all a successful 2013!