AEI HOSTS ASIA-EUROPE CONFERENCE 2017
The Asia-Europe Conference 2017 was organised by the University of Malaya's Asia-Europe Institute (AEI) in collaboration with the EU Centre in Singapore and the European Union Delegation to Malaysia on 3-4 August 2017. It was held under the title “Is it time for Europe to play a broader role in Asia?”. The conference featured prominent policy-makers and brought together experts in the field of Asia-Europe studies and EU-ASEAN relations, to examine global and regional developments with potential impact on the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their engagement with each other.
During the opening remarks, Prof. Dr. Azirah Hashim, the Executive Director of AEI, UM highlighted the aims of the conference which covered four broad areas; the current state of Asia-Europe relations, comparative examination of ASEAN and European regionalism, challenges to the EU and ASEAN brought about by migration, economic nationalism and identity politics, as well as the evaluation of needs and opportunities to intensify the Asia-Europe relationship.
The two-day conference featured four keynote speakers; Dr. Marty Natalegawa, the former Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, the former Foreign Minister of Thailand and former ASEAN Secretary-General, Prof. Kishore Mahbubani, Dean at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore and His Excellency Francisco Fontan Pardo, the Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN.
This conference was timely in the light of the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties, ASEAN's 50th anniversary and the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-EU relations.