GUANGZHOU - The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Media Dialogue on Connectivity will be inaugurated in Guangzhou on Monday at the monumental Garden Hotel, in the heart of the third largest city of China.

The two day event (May 9 to 10) will give participants, drawn from Asia and Europe, an opportunity to learn about and enhance their knowledge of connectivity cooperation between the two continents and to exchange views on new challenges and formulate policies and strategies to meet them.

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mongolia, New Zealand and Singapore are co-sponsoring the meeting with the cooperation of Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Council Information Office of China. The event will be hosted by the Guangzhou Municipal Government.

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), established in 1996, is an informal process of dialogue and cooperation, bringing together European and Asian countries. ASEM dialogues address political, economic and cultural issues, with the objective of strengthening the relationship between the two regions, in a spirit of mutual respect and equal partnership.

The meeting’s theme is ‘Promoting Public Awareness and Partnership’. More than 200 participants from the ASEM member states will attend the conference, including media executives from China and other countries, as well as business representatives.

This meeting of ASEM would also mark the celebration of its 20th anniversary. This connectivity, according to the organisers has emerged to be one of the priority areas for cooperation between the two largest continents i.e. Asia and Europe.

At the 10th ASEM Meeting in 2014, leaders of this forum underscored the significance of connectivity to economic prosperity and sustainable development and further emphasised the engagement of all stakeholders in the process of increasing connectivity between the two regions.

The past two years witnessed a series of initiatives towards the promotion of Asia-Europe connectivity. The ASEM Think-Tank Symposium, the ASEM Industry Dialogue on Connectivity, the ASEM Symposium on Eurasia Transport and Logistics Network and the Seminar of ASEM at 20 are some of the major activities.

In addition to this, the Challenges of Connectivity produced a wide range of thought-provoking ideas and proposals which reflected the common drive of all parties in enhancing ASEM connectivity cooperation. At these events, the role of media was highlighted in fostering public awareness as well as people to people connectivity.

China proposed hosting of ASEM Media Dialogue on Connectivity in Guangzhou where the participants would benefit from the media's observation and perspectives on furthering connectivity between Asia and Europe.

The dialogue would be formally inaugurated by a representative from the office of the State Council and act as Master of Ceremony. It would be followed by welcoming remarks that would be delivered by an official from the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government. Then there would be a keynote speech by a state leader from the Chinese Central Government.

This would be succeeded by a plenary session titled ‘ASEM Connectivity – Today and Tomorrow’ after which two sub-sessions titled ‘The Relevance and Role of Media as a Major Stakeholder’ and ‘Harnessing the Power of News Media’ would be held.

Later Guangzhou Municipal People’s government would host a dinner in honour of the participants.