Thai Deputy Premier/Finance Minister Kittiratt Na Ranong spoke at the opening ceremony welcoming delegates from 46 Asian and European member countries as well as heads of international organisations, including the European Commission, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
Mr Kittiratt said Asia and Europe have had close economic ties. Last year, the two regions had a combined tourism value between one another at almost one trillion US dollars. During the current eurozone crisis, he said he hoped Asia would help Europe recover through more trade and investment.
"Because Asia and Europe are closely knit in terms of international trade and investment, one spark of crisis can cause turmoil on the other side of the world," Minister Kittiratt said.
"I hope this meeting will produce solutions --or at least create a conducive atmosphere for a stronger and stable situation to set the world economy back on track with prosperity and sustainability once again," he added.
The 10th ASEM Finance Ministers' Meeting focused on three main issues --economic and financial development of Asia and Europe and the world economy, roles of financial cooperation in regions to support financial stability for further exchange on finances and setting up the financial mechanism to help member countries, and cooperation between Asia and Europe regarding trade and investments.