The Asia Europe Business Forum (AEBF) organized this year in Denmark by the Confederation of Danish Industries (DI) in connection with the ASEM meeting in Copenhagen in September looked at ways to increase the level of bilateral trade to match that of the Asia-US trade volume.
The AEBF gathered 250 business leaders from 25 Asian countries and was the seventh summit of the organisation.
In his opening speech, Mr. Hans Skov Christensen, Managing Director of DI pointed to the fact that as for Europe, Asia is today already a more important trading partner than North America.
“The job is to ensure that Europe’s “market share” in Asia will grow in the years to come,” Mr. Skov Christensen said.
Chairman of the AEBF meeting, Mr. Ib Christensen, also stressed that complacency with the current situation was not enough. Today, the Asian economies have stronger links to the US economy than to the European economies, he said. He predicted that within 10 to 15 years, the Asian economies would grow to the size of the American and EU economies, and if EU didn’t strengthen its links to Asia, the US would be the main beneficiary of this growth.
The AEBF submitted a set of recommendations how the bilateral trade and cooperation could be enhanced, which were submitted to the ASEM meeting for the Head of Governments to take action in each their countries.
The introduction of the Euro currency in most of the EU was at the centre of many of the business leaders’ attention. The strong dependence on the US economy was a vulnerability which many suggested could be balanced off with an adoption of the Euro as an alternative trading currency.