The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) seeks to promote better mutual understanding and closer cooperation between the people of Asia and Europe through greater intellectual, cultural, and people-to-people exchanges. These exchanges include conferences, lecture tours, workshops, seminars and the use of web-based platforms. The major achievement of ASEF is the establishment of permanent bi-regional networks focused on areas and issues that help to strengthen Asia-Europe relations. Established in February 1997 by the partners of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), ASEF is the only permanent physical institution of the ASEM process. ASEF works in partnership with other public institutions and civil society actors to ensure its work is broad-based and balanced among the partner countries.