The 1st ASEM Summit (ASEM1) was held on 1-2 March 1996 in Bangkok, Thailand. The participants included representatives from the European Commission, the then EU Member States, the then seven ASEAN countries (Association of Southeast Asian Nations,) plus China, Japan and Korea. The Summit was themed, New Comprehensive Asia-Europe Partnership for Greater Growth.
The need to strengthen relations between Asian and European countries served as an initiative for summit. The aim of the partnership was to strengthen ties between Asia and Europe and to promote peace, global stability and the regions’ prosperity.
The Bangkok summit agreed that the areas for cooperation would include political dialogue, economic cooperation and cooperation in other fields such as science and technology cross-flows, human resources development, development cooperation, the environment, and cultural and educational exchanges.