Mr. Junichiro Koizumi, Prime Minister of Japan:
“I would like to express my appreciation to the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Phan Van Khai, and his staff for their thorough preparations to ensure the success of this summit.
At this Summit, ten European countries and three Asian countries have newly joined ASEM. Their participation has made ASEM a framework for a dialogue and Co-operation between ASEAN+3, which is in the centre of the dynamism I mentioned earlier, and the EU, which continues to develop vigorously after its enlargement.
For the advancement of the newly enlarged ASEM, we must undertake the following four tasks at this Summit.
First, we should expand the co-operation under the ASEM framework with the spirit of solidarity and partnership, in such a way as we solved the issue of ASEM enlargement.
Second, with a view to strengthening effective multilateralism, we should further deepen our discussion on the reform of the United Nations and express our strong will to jointly tackle such threats as terrorism and the issue of non-proliferation.
Third, we should further promote the revitalisation of co-operation within ASEM. We must start taking concrete measures to achieve closer economic partnership as well as to cope with the issue of cultural diversity in the era of globalisation.
Fourth, we should initiate discussions on the future of ASEM. It is important to expand the possibilities of ASEM which has now entered a new chapter in its history after the enlargement.
Japan is ready to give further momentum to the ASEM process by hosting the 7th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Kyoto in May 2005, based on the results of this Summit.
I would like to conclude my remarks by expressing my confidence that this meeting will produce significant achievements thanks to the wisdom and the spirit of co-operation of all the leaders attending this Summit as well as the leadership of Prime Minister Phan Van Khai. I am committed to doing my utmost to contribute to that success."
Romano Prodi, President of European Commission:
"Let me say first ho delighted I am to be here in Hanoi, Vietnam, which will allow all of us to enjoy the dialogue to be held during this summit. I congratulate Vietnam on their initiative to host such an important meeting and on their excellent organisational arrangements. This meeting is an historic landmark with the accession of 13 new ASEM partners, which will give a wider reach to ASEM. Now all of the ASEAN countries are members in ASEM, as well as al those from the European Union.
The ASEM 5 summit will provide Europe and Asia with excellent opportunities to carry forward the inter-regional dialogue on all points of our comprehensive agenda. It will also allow us to hold many bilateral meetings to further strengthen our relations with our Asian partners.
In my view, the Summit will achieve several significant results. Let me outline a few key elements. First, it will allow us to confirm our joint commitment to work together in all major multilateral for a, in particular on security issues, international trade or global environmental challenges. Ministers will ensure that this dialogue is taken forward, we could also agree to work together in new fields, such as energy co-operation, and to find new and innovative ways to take the dialogue of cultures forward.
Finally, since we last met in Copenhagen in 2002, we have already demonstrated our ability to approach and tackle difficult questions such as the enlargement of ASEM, including human rights and recent developments in Myanmar – we will discuss this important issue at this Summit, and I hope this will translate into a shared commitment to work towards positive change in that country."
Dr. Per Stig Moller, Acting Prime Minister of Denmark:
"It is no secret that the preparations for this summit have been painstaking process. But the ASEM enlargement is now a reality. Together we should use this ASEM enlargement as a catalyst for further strengthening co-operation between Europe and Asia. I am convinced that under the able chairmanship of our host and through our join efforts ASEM 5 will be the best possible beginning for the new enlarged ASEM.
Europe and Asia share many interests. A strong co-operation between Europe and Asia benefits not only Europeans and Asians. It contributes to the building of a safe, just global order and a stronger world economy.
Open dialogue on the basis of respect for cultural diversity and mutual understanding is the best way of avoiding radicalisation and polarisation. The ASEM process is the type of open dialogue that the world needs. The decision in Copenhagen at ASEM 4 to expand dialogue and co-operation on combating terrorism has proved useful. Denmark intends to continue her engagement in this area.
From the very beginning of the ASEM process cultural dialogue and people-to-people contacts have had high priority. Denmark finds ASEM's third pillar very important and was happy to co-sponsor the first ASEM meeting for ministers of culture in China last year. Denmark has also been supporting cross-regional contacts in the academic world - through ASEM-DUO. The Life-Long Learning initiative is still developing new methods for involving the weakest groups in life-long learning.
More initiatives like this that improves people-to-people contacts and understanding should be made. Denmark truly appreciates the central role of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in supporting this work.
Europe and Asia share economic interests as well as political interests. Fifty percent of world trade derives from Asia and Europe. Europe has been leading in international trade for centuries. Today, Asia is the most important dynamo in the world economy - and will remain so for years to come. Open and trade-dependent economies have an interest in a world of global free trade with liberal regulation on trade and investment. Free and fair trade is also necessary to drag the world finally out of poverty. Denmark therefore finds the ASEM dialogue on WTO matters most useful and hopes to continue the consultations with ASEM partners. We all have an interest in an early conclusion of the Doha Round that will bring benefits to developed and developing countries alike.
At the same time ASEM partners should aim to strengthen the trade and investment relations between Europe and Asia. Vietnam’s proposal to make a declaration on ASEM closer Economic Partnership one of the main results of ASEM 5 is highly welcomed. I honestly hope that we will reward the efforts of our host through the conclusion of an ambitious declaration."
(According to VOVNEWS)