What have been the main issue of your speech at the summit?
I have made several speeches. I have talked about education, I have been appointed education Champion by the UN and believe that Asia and Europe jointly can do a lot to improve education.
Then I have talked about economy, especially green economy, where I drew the attention to the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) which we established together with Korea, proving that just two countries bilateral can create something that can have a huge impact on green economy.
And finally I have talked about piracy, it is an issue where both Europa and Asia have large interest. Piracy impede our trading but most importantly it causes human disaster for the victims, so I have raised the issue as a theme of common interest.
You met with Lee Hsien Loong, Singaporean Prime Minister yesterday. What was the theme of your meeting?
A increasing partnership and cooperation with Singapore. Both Singapore and Denmark are trading nations and maritime nations, so we have a lot in common and a lot we can achieve together. We recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to cooperate on maritime issues with Singapore.
I used the occasion to confirmed that Denmark are dedicated to cooperation with Singapore and to tell that Denmark strongly supports a free trade agreement between Singapore and EU and a agreement had priority in our presidency of the EU.
Later today you are meeting with Myanmar President U Thein Sein. What is the headline for the meeting?
I visited Myanmar before going to the Asem summit, but we didn’t have time for meeting while I was in Myanmar. Now fortunately we met here. My message is simple: We recognize the political changes towards democracy in Myanmar and are prepared for next steep in our cooperation with Myanmar.
Myanmar should know that they can count on Denmark and that we will be present in Myanmar. That’s why we have opened a small diplomatic mission in Myanmar and I visited the country two day ago being the first Danish Prime Minister to visit the country.
You inaugurated the mission together with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg Sunday. Why have Denmark chose to open a joint mission with Norway?
It’s quite natural for the Nordic countries to work together on a mission like this. We have discussed joint mission in the Nordic Council and agreed on more joint diplomatic missions. The Nordic countries has a lot in common and shares views on many subject. We disagree on very few issues, so it makes sense to join with Norway on representation in Myanmar and if the Swedes wants to join they will be very welcome as well.
Even Myanmar has made great progress towards democracy there still are huge unsolved problems concerning human rights as the persecution of the Rohingyas. Do you intend to raise the Rohingya issue at the meeting with the Myanmar President?
I have raised the issue when speaking with Myanmar ministers and also when speaking with Aung San Suu Kyi. It is a issue that concerns those I have talked with as well as it concerns us. We have to use dialogue to constantly push the development of human rights , freedom of press and the protection of minorities.
Europe is hit by crisis and we want to develop our relations with Asia, which still has growth, but opposite China and to some degree Japan we also wants to interfere with the way they governs their countries. Does our desire to interfere harm the Danish business community?
No it dosn’t. Having educational and cultural relations as well as political dialogue and trade and business relation is all part of a circle where the various relationships strengthen the overall relationship.
By having a wide variety of relationships with a country it becomes much easier to explain our views.