Cambodia's ASEM Chairmanship 2020: Small Country with Big tasks

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an Asian-European political dialogue forum founded in 1996 with an aim to enhance relations and cooperation between the countries in Asia and Europe. The initial goal of ASEM at its inception was to provide a platform to foster political dialogues, strengthen economic and cultural cooperation, and tackle global challenges. From 2020 onwards, Asia and Europe need to deepen their cooperation in multi-faceted areas given growing trade and connectivity initiatives between the two regions, and the threat of trade protectionism in other parts of the world. In terms of trade, the bilateral turnover between the two continents has so far reached €1.5 trillion per annum, and their combined Gross Domestic Products account for approximately 60 per cent of the global GDP. Apart from the growing trade, the number of connectivity initiatives still lag behind the development needs of the two continents. In addition, the global trade today has been significantly curtailed by the rising trade protectionism steered by certain global powers; therefore, Asian and European countries should endeavour to defend the multilateral trading system for continuous and shared economic prosperity. Next year, the Kingdom of Cambodia, as an ASEM member, has the great pleasure to host the 13th Asia-Europe Summit for the very first time in the history of this small nation. This is a great opportunity for Cambodia to showcase its achievements and grab the opportunities brought by initiatives of the forum. However, the Kingdom is also facing some difficulties in hosting such a big historical event. In order to overcome the hardship, the Kingdom is expected to learn from the past experiences of different countries in organizing the event, as well as to come up with substantial initiatives, which bring tangible and positive outcomes for the deepening cooperation between the two continents. In doing so, the Asian Vision Institute (AVI), an independent think tank based in Cambodia, in collaboration with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) in Phnom Penh, decided to publish a book entitled: “Cambodia’s ASEM Chairmanship 2020: Small Country with Big Tasks”. This book is a compilation of perspectives and inputs of prominent scholars and senior foreign policy makers across Asia and Europe with the aim to provide knowledge about what ASEM is, its relevance, opportunities and challenges of implementing ASEM initiatives, perspectives of the ASEM partners towards the forum, and what can be done to concretize the ASEM cooperation initiatives. Furthermore, the book provides insights into rationales of Cambodia’s decision to chair such a big event, despite its limited resources. We, the AVI and KAS team members, believe that this book will be a big contribution to readers in their pursuit of deepen and broaden their knowledge about ASEM-related issues, and to those attempting to address and overcome challenges facing the forum. Needless to say, the book is undoubtedly useful for policy makers, academics and students of International Relations. We wish you a good read and new insights! Phnom Penh, 25 July 2019 Asian Vision Institute & Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS)

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Content

Introduction to Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)

“Multilateralism Light”? The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Rescue of a Rules-Based International Order

  • “Multilateralism Light”?

    In this article the autor Jürgen Rüland argues whether the promotion of multilateralism is welcomed by the ASEM. With the right-wing movements happening in the west he addresses how far ASEM is prepared to act proponent of multilateralism. The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Rescue of a Rules-Based International Order.

Porspects on Cambodia’s Chairmanship of ASEM Summit 2020

  • Prospects on Cambodia’s Chairmanship of ASEM Summit 2020

    In this article the author outlines the importance and expectations that come with hosting ASEM 2020 in Cambodia. He lists the benefits that ASEM holds for the country and why it is an important opportunity. Furthermore, he asks the question on what lies ahead leading to the Summit, since a lot of things are happening in the world at the present moment, such as growing economic uncertainties and destabilizing factors. Dr. Sok Siphana

ASEM in the Eyes of Cambodia: A Key Diplomatic Option for its Future Global and Regional Integration

  • ASEM in the Eyes of Cambodia

    In this article the authors are stressing how the characteristics and the role of ASEM fits into the kingdom’s foreign policy. A Key Diplomatic Option for Her Future Global and Regional Integration

China and ASEM: Objectives, Perceptions, Roles and Expectations

Germany in ASEM – Engagement and Expectations

  • Germany and ASEM – Engagement and Expectations

    In this article the author argues why Germany needs to reinforce its relations to Asia in order to keep pace in this rapidly changing world. He claims that bilateral partnership is not enough and that there is potential for enhanced institutionalized cooperation. Mark Hauptmann

Is Europe’s Future in Asia? The Asia-Europe Meeting as an Instrument of the Rules-Based Multilateral Order

  • Is Europe’s Future in Asia?

    The world order as we have known it for decades is in turmoil. Countries in Europe and Asia in particular have been profiting from the rules-based multilateral order which provided them with security and allowed them to prosper. Therefore, they are strongly affected by the current volatility. Instead of relying on other powers, countries in both regions should work together and proactively shape the future of multilateralism through the Asia-Europe Meeting. The Asia-Europe Meeting as an Instrument of the Rules-Based Multilateral Order

    by Patrick Rüppel

ASEAN in ASEM: The Socialization of the ASEAN Way?

  • ASEAN in ASEM: The Socialization of the ASEAN Way?

    In this article the author attempts to investigate the extent to which the ASEAN Way has been socialized in the ASEM process. He claims that the most important factor that helps the plurality of the member states to maintain the ASEM process is its informality to freely discuss a wide range of topics and explore their common interests. Dr. Cheunboran Chanborey

Prospect of ASEM: A Bet on EU and ASEAN as possible pillars in Asian (Maritime) Security

Competitive Regional Security Architecture and the Value of ASEM

  • Competitive Regional Security Architecture and the Value of ASEM

    In this article the author claims that it is critical to understand the current regional security architecture and explore the value of ASEM as an interregional mechanism. He stresses that ASEN’s position in the regional security architecture is being increasingly constrained, whilst the importance of ASEM and China’s position are rising. Ren Yuanzhe