The backlash from business and the opposition against Bolivia's trade policy with the EU was shrill enough to suggest that Bolivia had announced the end of external trade. Yet the Bolivian government's position is based on experience of the heavy costs of free trade for the majority of its citizens.
The Asia-Europe People's Forum (AEPF) is an inter-regional network of progressive civil society and social movements across Asia and Europe. Since 1996, AEPF has critically engaged the ASEM and has been organising the biennial gathering of people from Asia and Europe parallel to the official ASEM Summit Meetings. It has sustained its advocacy and commitment for peace and security, economic and social rights and democracy and human rights in Asia-Europe relations.