The IAF’s role in support of APSCO as a bridge between Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world


APSCO 10th Anniversary High Level Forum & 9th International Symposium

Beijing, China



On 14 – 15 November 2018, IAF President, Dr. Jean-Yves Le Gall and IAF Executive Director, Dr. Christian Feichtinger addressed the audience of the APSCO 10th Anniversary High Level Forum & 9th International Symposium in Beijing, China. These meetings offer a first opportunity to convey the IAF’s role in support of APSCO as a bridge between the Asia-Pacific region and the broader global arena.

During his speech, Dr. Le Gall highlighted the great importance of Asia-Pacific as being the fastest growing economic region in the world. Indeed, in the last two decades, progress in space technology and its various applications has been significant and impressive, making the Asia-Pacific region one of the most dynamic areas in the field of space technology and development. Only 10 countries in the world have the ability to launch satellites, and three of these countries in Asia, India, China and Japan, have either placed a spacecraft in orbit around the Moon, or have landed one on the lunar surface.




The IAF and APSCO play an important role in fostering multilateral cooperation between countries across the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Regional space cooperation needs to be promoted at multiple levels. Space policy cooperation and dialogue at government level will foster a mutual understanding of space programmes and policies in the region and help identify potential agendas for future space cooperation. On this basis, regional space cooperation at national space agency level could be further promoted within the framework of the IAF and APSCO. Regional space cooperation could also involve greater participation from the private sector in the future.

Building on the global commitment expressed at UNISPACE+50, the IAF calls for partnerships to exploit the full potential of space technology and applications through enhanced regional collaboration and information sharing for a stronger and more resilient Asia-Pacific. The IAF will, through the Global Innovation Agenda for 2016-2019, maintain closer links and — by strengthening collaboration with all members with an interest in the Asia-Pacific region — will continue to play a catalytic role in maintaining, complementing and extending the framework for cooperation in the region.

The IAF will also seek the expansion of cooperation through systematic analysis by experts and stakeholders in different countries and greater awareness of potentials, opportunities, risks and possible solutions. Such systematic evaluation and exploration by thought leaders and engagement in forums will add value to the efforts to achieve the objectives of the SDGs.

With these goals in mind, the IAF and APSCO have agreed to enter a Memorandum of Understanding to further strengthen cooperation and promote constructive dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

This in turn will contribute positively to education and learning, and help promote, develop and reinforce links between scientists in the APSCO member states and the IAF user community in the various fields of space science.