Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa stressed here on Monday the significance of promoting cooperation among Asian countries.
In a keynote speech at the 12th ministerial meeting of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), he called for creating Asian partnership for investment in industry and alternative energy, promoting environmental tourism and boosting women's empowerment.
He hailed the one-day ACD meeting as a good opportunity for Asian decision-makers to share views and experience to establish partnership relations in order to enable Asian leaders to be key players.
He added that the ACD was established as a forum for all Asian countries, attracting 33 states, in order to become an effective mechanism for strategic cooperation.
He noted that economic and social developments in the Asian continent requires all-out response by propping up Asian economic integration.
The Asian continent is rich in various cultural, human, economic and strategic potential, he said, pointing to a Bahraini working paper on the development of Asian environmental tourism by launching an Asian touristic city. The Bahraini document is primarily intended to find fresh ways to reinforce cooperation, encourage investment in new sectors, open cultural and touristic exchange and boost the competitive edge of ACD member states in tourism, he said.
The Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) was inaugurated in June 2002 in Cha-Am, Thailand, where 18 Asian Foreign Ministers met together for the first time. The ACD is a continent-wide forum, the first of its kind in Asia. More specifically, the ACD aims to constitute the missing link in Asia by incorporating every Asian country and building an Asian Community without duplicating other organizations or creating a bloc against others. A key principle is to consolidate Asian strengths and fortify Asia's competitiveness by maximizing the diversity and rich resources evident in Asia.
The core values of the ACD are positive thinking; informality; voluntarism; non-institutionalization; openness; respect for diversity; the comfort level of member countries; and the evolving nature of the ACD process.