Fifty-three prominent European and Asian representatives from the political, business, academic, and media circles attended this forum and contributed their ideas on how Europe and Asia could benefit from the interdependence that arises from globalisation.
Eberhard v. Kuenheim, chairman of the BMW AG supervisory board and Herbert Quandt Stiftung, launched the forum with his opening address on the challenges facing Europe and Asia. In the session that followed, a panel of distinguished speakers presented their analysis of the “Economic Prospects For Asia And Europe, And For Asia-Europe Economic Co-operation In The Next Century.” Participants also reached a consensus on the following points:
– All to work towards a better resolution of the crisis
– Countries in crisis need to have the political will and discipline to push through with reforms
– The need for redoubled efforts towards genuine burden sharing by the three major economies
– Greater guard against protectionism
– Continual efforts to pursue co-operation in other fields, such as technological and scientific exchanges
Singapore’s then-Senior Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, shared his insights on the “Roots Of The Crisis,” with an eye on the political and security challenges in Asia and Europe after the Cold War. He highlighted the lack of consensus among Europeans as to the kind of political and security role they could play in the Asia-Pacific pantheon.
Participants also discussed the need to bridge the gap between business and values in different cultures. They discussed the impact the value systems had on decision making in business; the impact of globalisation and the rapidly changing nature of the world marketplace; and the relationship between culture, good governance, and good corporate citizenship. Participants agreed that it was important to increase the commonalities while recognising the differences.
The forum successfully generated high-quality analyses of Europe-Asia related issues. It also provided a much-needed platform for Asians and Europeans to share their experience, views, and expertise, and helped pave the way for greater future co-operation between the two regions.