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Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany I would like to express our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the victims and the families who have suffered immense losses of lives and properties by Typhoon Yolanda. Germany stands ready to assist and swiftly deliver humanitarian aid.
Let me thank my dear colleague Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid, for his generous hospitality.
Europe and Asia are partners in shaping globalization. Europe needs a strong Asia. Asia needs a strong Europe.
The Euro continues strong and the Eurozone countries have embarked on a remarkable path towards recovery through solidarity, budget consolidation and structural reforms for enhanced competitiveness.
The EU is today the world’s largest exporter, the largest foreign direct investor, the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world and the largest donor of development aid. It is a strong advocate for a rules-based international order and peaceful conflict resolution.
This is why Europe remains a key partner for Asia. And our partners in Asia should know: We will not lean back. We know there is more work to do.
I commend the progress made in the EU trade negotiations with our Asian partners: After the conclusion of the Free Trade Agreement with Korea in 2010, the initialing of the EU-FTA with Singapore followed this year.
We are looking forward to welcoming others on this path.
Our two regions share a common interest in stability in Asia-Pacific.
In the spirit of shared responsibility, let us address the challenges of our times: climate change and organized crime, new security threats and disaster relief, stable and open trading routes, financial market stability and sustainable growth.
Europe and Asia have a huge potential as strong partners in shaping globalization. Let us deepen this partnership within ASEM.