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Thursday, April 2, 1998 Published at 09:15 GMT 10:15 UK

Special Report

Asem 2 - Top Internet links

One of the key principles of the Asem movement is to encourage co-operation between Asia and Europe in the fields of economics, politics and culture, and the Internet has proved an effective way of bridging the distance between the two continents. From Planet Britain to the EU-Asia Cyberforum - Joe Havely of the BBC's Asia-Pacific unit has a guide to some of the best ASEM-related sites available online:

With London playing host to the second Asem meeting, it falls to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the British Government to maintain this year's official Asem 2 website. Here you can find out about the delegates attending this year's meeting, the summit agenda and progress of the meeting as it takes place.

From April 1, the Planet Britain website will be available: an FCO initiative, coinciding with the Asem 2 summit, illustrating Britain's political, commercial and cultural links with Asia.

You can also access the official website for Asem 1, held in Bangkok in 1996, which is still available online. Produced by the Thai Ministry for Foreign Affairs, this site carries key speeches from the first meeting, as well as photos and other information on the 1996 meeting and venue.

For a wider range of views on Asia -Europe relations, visit the Sinagpore-based This site carries a number of key speeches made relating to the progress of Asem, including a January 1998 speech by EU President Jacques Santer, Asia and Europe: the road from Bangkok to London and beyond.

The Asef site also carries a comprehensive listing of links to other academic, media, cultural and people-to-people exchange intended to broaden Asia-Europe understanding.

Alternatively you could take part in the first EU-Asia Cyberforum organised by the Brussels-based European Institute of Asian Studies, and have your say on Asia-Europe relations.

Information about ASEM members:

Asem itself incorporates two transnational bodies - the European Union (the EU) and the Association for South-East Asian Nations (Asean) - both of which have extensive websites.

Europa, the EU site, is a multilingual service with links to all the main bodies of European Union activity.

The Asean website is maintained by the Asean Secretariat, based in Jakarta, Indonesia. This carries information and press releases on the activities of Asean member states and has links to a number of regional English language newspapers available online. This site is only available in English.

The Internet has become a useful resource for governments to publish information and present their views of and to the outside world. The Foreign Ministries of most Asem members now have their own websites and you can link to them from the following list:

Europe: Belgium; France; Denmark; Germany; Greece; Ireland; Luxembourg; Netherlands; Portugal; Sweden; United Kingdom.

Asia: China; Indonesia; Japan; Malaysia; Singapore; South Korea; Thailand.

Finally, to find out more about the countries of Asia, a good starting point is the World Wide Web Virtual Library for Asian Studies, managed by the Australian National University in Canberra. It carries a comprehensive listing of Asian information resources available on-line, categorised by country and subject.

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