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ASEC : ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center

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The ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center(ASEIC) was established in 2011 to promote cooperation of green growth in Europe and Asia, with a particular emphasis on enhancing eco-innovation of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in both regions. Agreeing on the importance of SMEs as main engines of innovation and growth, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) member countries joined together to establish ASEIC as an international platform for spreading eco-innovation principles and practices among SMEs and assisting them in harnessing the new business opportunities that arise out of such principles and practices.

About ASEM

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a biennial meeting which was officially established in 1996 at the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand as an exclusive Eurasian forum to enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between the 28 members of the European Union (EU) and its commission, 21 Asian countries including the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its secretariat, and the individual countries of China, Japan, and South Korea.
The initial ASEM partnerships in 1996 consisted of 15 EU member states and 7 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, South Korea and the European Commission. ASEM then gradually expanded their scope of partnerships. Currently the total ASEM membership is 53 partners.

The 11th ASEM Summit
(2016, Ulaanbaatar Mongolia)
No enlargement
The 10th ASEM Summit
(2014, Milan Italy)
2 new members

Croatia and Kazakhstan

The 9th ASEM Summit
(2012, Vientiane Lao DPR)
3 new members

Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland

The 8th ASEM Summit
(2010, Brussels Belgium)
3 new members

Australia, New Zealand and Russia

The 7th ASEM Summit
(2008, Beijing China)
No enlargement
The 6th ASEM Summit
(2006, Helsinki Finland)
6 new members

Bulgaria, India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Romania and the ASEAN Secretariat

The 5th ASEM Summit
(2004, Hanoi Vietnam)
13 new members

Cambodia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lao DPR, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Myanmar , Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia

The main components of the ASEM process rest on the following three so-called pillars
· the Political Pillar
· the Economical Pillar
· the Social, Cultural and Educational Pillar

In general, the process is considered by the parties involved to be a way of deepening the relations between Asia and Europe at all levels, which is deemed necessary to achieve a more balanced political and economic world order. The process is enhanced by the biennial meetings of heads of state, alternately in Europe and Asia, and biennial meetings of Foreign Ministers as well as political, economic, and socio-cultural meetings and events at various levels.

ASEM Member States

Country Government / Others Name Link
Australia Government Department of the Environment
Bangladesh Government Ministry of Environment & Forests
Brunei Darussalam Government Ministry of Development
Cambodia Government Ministry of Environment
China Government Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China
Laos PDR Government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Others Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Malaysia Government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
Others SIRIM
Mongolia Government Ministry of Environment and Green Development
Myanmar Government Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry
New Zealand Government Ministry for the Environment
India Government Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Indonesia Government KUKM
Badan Litbang Pertanian
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Pakistan Government Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency
Philippines Government Departmet of Environment and Natural Resources
Russia Government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation
Singapore Government Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
Others ASEF
Japan Government Ministry of the Environment
Others IGES
Kazakhstan Government Ministry of Environment and Water Resources
Thailand Government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environemt
Vietanam Government Ministry of Natural Resources and Environemt of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Agency For Enterprises Development
Korea Government Ministry of Environment
Country Government / Others Name Link
Austria Government The Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Others UNIDO
Belgium Government Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment
Bulgaria Government Ministry of Environment and Water of Bulgaria
Croatia Government Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection
Latvia Government Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia
Lithuania Government Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania
Luxembourg Government Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure
Malta Government Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Envrionment and Climate Change
Netherlands Government Ministry of Infrastructure and the Envrionment
Cyprus Government Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment
Czech Republic Government Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic
Denmark Government Danish Ministry of the Environment
Others Danish Ministry of Education
Estonia Government Ministry of the Environment
Others Republic of Estonia Ministry of foreign affairs
EU Others Eco-Innovation Observatory(EIO)
EU Delegation
EU Commission
EU Switch-ASIA(MEET BIS Cambodia)
EU Switch-ASIA
Finland Government Ministry of the Environment
France Government Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy
Others ADEME
Germany Government Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation,Building and Nuclear Safety
Others German Watch
Greece Government Ministry of Reconstruction of Production, Environment & Energy
Hungary Government Ministry of Rural Development
Norway Government Ministry of Climate and Environment
Poland Government Ministry of the Environment
Portugal Government Ministry of Environment Spatial Planning and Energy
Rumania Government Ministry for Environment, Waters and Forests
Slovakia Government Ministry of Envrionment of the Slovak Republic
Slovenia Government Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning
Spain Government Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment
Sweden Government SIDA
Ministry of the Environment and Energy
Ireland Government Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government
Italy Government Ministry of the Environment, Land and Sea
Switzerland Government Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energyand Communications
United Kingdom Government Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Others University of London


Any form of innovation that reduces environmental impact
Any important element of sustainable development

Eco-innovation is defined by the European Commission as “any form of innovation aiming at significant and demonstrable progress towards the goal of sustainable development, through reducing impacts on the environment or achieving a more efficient and responsible use of resources including both intended and unintended environmental effects from innovation as well as not only environmental technology but processes, systems and services.”

Likewise, the Eco-Innovation Observatory(EIO), a three-year initiative financed by the European Commission, defines eco-innovation as : “any innovation that reduces the use of natural resources and decreases the release of harmful substances across the whole life-cycle.” EIO’s definition went beyond the traditional notion of innovating to reduce negative environmental effects; it also encompasses the ways and methods of minimizing the use of natural resources in the design, production, use, re-use and recycling of products and materials.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), what makes eco-innovation distinct from any other type of innovation is that it “results in the mitigation of environmental impact, whether the effect is intended or not. Furthermore, its scope may transcend the traditional structural limitations of the innovating organization, thus involving broader social arrangements that could spur socio-cultural and institutional changes.”

Therefore, ASEIC would like to define eco-innovation as “an idea to achieve environmental improvements, to enhance competitiveness of enterprises and to provide new business opportunities by means of using low cost and non-technology-intensive methods.”

Small&Medium sized Enterprise (SMEs)

In Europe, SMEs represent 99 percent of all businesses, providing jobs to more than 100 million people. In Asia, SMEs constitute the lifeblood of many industries as they grapple with the present global economic crisis

What is an SME?

SME stands for “small and medium-sized enterprises.” The category of SMEs is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and/or and annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million.

European Commission Recommendation

A legally independent company with no more than 500 employees.

European Union

The only way to reduce poverty in a sustainable way is to promote economic growth, through wealth and employment creation. In developing countries, SMEs are the major source of income, a breeding ground for entrepreneurs and a provider of employment.


The definition of an SME is important for access to finance and support programs targeted specifically at these companies. SMEs are not limited to any particular type of industry or service, and can include small manufacturing facilities, small processing units, trading companies, export-import companies, distribution, retailing, rental, service company, etc.