Mentor’s Comment: The question is based on traditional as well as on current issue. Here we need to focus on both the importance of grouping as well as multilateral ties with the context of current scenario.
Introduction should talk about the importance of regional groupings in modern world. Why ASEM and how it can be significant (just intro and not brief)
Main Body: Mention about ASEM and its potentialities. What are the challenges prevailing in world which can come between two continents cooperation and how ASEM can be helpful in order to tackle such challenges.
Conclude with the capabilities and endeavour of both the continents and the requirement to foster immediate cooperation.
- Regional groupings acquire immense importance in growing modern world, with the concern of complexing society & administration, run for the economic growth and sustainable development.
- In the same line Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has been established in 1996 as an informal inter-governmental dialogue platform which facilitates countries of both the continents to work together to safeguard and preserve multilateralism and issues relating to global commons through multilateral dialogues.
- The ongoing shifts in global power and geo-economics, and convulsions in the liberal international order, ASEM like organisation can certainly play a significant role.
- ASEM, home to 60% of world population with more than half of global trade, and around two-thirds of global gross domestic product can significantly change the route of global scenario.
- At present countries of both the continents are wary of the uncertainties being created by the United State. United State’s Rising protectionist trade policies, withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, and Trump’s disregard for multilateral dialogue pose significant common challenges.
- While China is the main target of the Trump administration’s trade tariffs, the EU, Japan and India are vulnerable as well. With the robust presence of 21 major and middle Asian countries ASEM shows the potentialities to alter the decisions and monopolies of big countries like America in its current regime.
- The recent trends indicates that European Union is more focused towards Asia as most of the Asian countries are on the track of good economic growth which is also being encouraged by Brexit like events. Major European countries such as France and Germany are getting more involved in Asian security dynamics too.
- India joined ASEM in 1997, the five rounds of expansion in ASEM has registered a two fold increase in membership (currently 53) including two regional powers ASEAN and European Commission.
- For Delhi, relations with both China and the US have been a tightrope walk. China’s Belt and Road initiative (BRI) and Trump’s tariff barriers and H-1B visa issue are prime areas of concern for India. In that context, greater cooperation with the EU and Asian powers could open up new vistas of cooperation.
- Moreover, the Asia-Europe connectivity, Indo-Pacific connectivity etc. are another issue. Many major Asian countries have already launched their own alternatives of varying degrees to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The cooperation between Asian and European countries will certainly counter China’s aggressive policies.
- However, the recently released policy document on fostering physical, economic, digital and people to people connectivity between Asia and Europe will also get a significant boost.
- ASEM is a good initiative for both the continents regarding transparent multilateral cooperation mechanism, security cooperation, quality Foreign Direct Investment, greater intra-regional, regional and inter-regional connectivity and much other range of issues.
- However, there are issues of nationalism in many European countries, Brexit being the most overt symptom and disruptive one. Such challenges of internal disturbances should be settled in order to foster more fruitful cooperation.
- ASEM like cooperation is significant at a time when the US is disrupting the gains of globalization. However, this will require political will in Asia and Europe to back multilateralism and free trade.