Cambodia, host of the 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit, has decided to further postpone it to the last quarter of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. The ASEM Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) Retreat unanimously supported Cambodia to reschedule the ASEM13 to the last quarter of 2021 due to the unabated risks posed by Covid-19, the statement said.
The statement was released after the Retreat via video conference on March 1-2, which was chaired by the Ministry's Secretary of State Luy David, reports Xinhua news agency.
"Moreover, the postponement is to ensure not only the safety of ASEM Leaders attending the Summit but also their meaningful interactions as well as frank and constructive exchange of views on regional and global issues of common interest that can only be done in a physical setting," it added.
Originally scheduled for November 16-17, 2020, in capital Phnom Penh, the summit had been first delayed to mid-2021. ASEM, an inter-governmental process, comprises 53 partners, encompassing 21 Asian countries, 30 European countries, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the European Commission.
Collectively, ASEM partners represent 65 percent of the global economy, 60 percent of the world's population, 55 percent of the world trade and 75 percent of the world tourism.