Recognising the importance of youth exchanges in strengthening links between Europe and Asia, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs followed on then-Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto’s proposal at the 1996 ASEM in Bangkok and organised the first AEYLS in collaboration with ASEF.
Over 100 professionals from government, business, academia, and the arts participated in the symposium to discuss issues of regional and global relevantce.
In his keynote address, former Prime Minister of Sweden, Ingvar Carlsson, described the efforts of the Commission on Global Governance to establish a new style of managing relations as a new approach to governance. He also stressed the importance of improving bi-regional relationships at the people-to-people level.
The former Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs Han Sung-Joo traced the historical development of Asia-Europe relations and outlined his thoughts on how both regions could build a solid partnership that woudl contribute to stable economic, political, and security relations.
Participants discussed the ways in which Asia and Europe could co-operate in the fields ofeconomics, politics, culture, and multimedia. They stressed the importance of personnel exchanges, such as language and academic exchanges as well as internship programmes, in establishing common ground between the two regions. They also highlighted the importance of cultural exchange networks.