East Asian Chief Executive Kumiko Akimoto's 2012 trade mission to Europe was an important step in repairing strained diplomatic ties between the countries of Europe and the East Asian Federation, following East Asia's support for the Grand Yarphese Republic's campaign in Europe during the 2010 Yarphese War. It was the largest and most successful trade mission ever conducted by a Chief Executive to that time, resulting in new trade deals worth over some amount of money here. The mission was widely seen as restoring most of the lost trust between East Asia and Europe, and serving to mend some of the diplomacy gap between Eastern and Western powers.
For years prior to the trade mission, the East Asian government had sought to improve relations damaged by East Asia's wartime assistance to Yarphei during its invasion of the United Kingdom. In July 2011, the Federation Board passed legislation authorizing the State Economy Office to provide several incentives, such as development assistance and subsidization of certain fields, to European companies to invest in the East Asian economy. Although several measures were implemented, the results were mixed, and ultimately fell short of the goal of the original legislation.
Increasing trade with Europe was a key tenet of the Akimoto administration's 2012 annual executive mandate. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Chief Executive Akimoto met with European leaders about the possibility of a trade delegation to several European countries to secure trade, cultural, and diplomatic exchanges between East Asia and Europe. Upon returning to Seogyeong at the conclusion of the Forum, State Economy Officer Yoshihiko Noda announced that the trade mission was planned in late April 2012, and would see a delegation of government officials, business leaders, and students from various areas of the country visit eight different European countries.
The trade mission took place from April 22 to May 5, 2012, with the delegation leaving North Capital International Airport in Seogyeong the evening of April 21. Chief Executive Akimoto, government, and business leaders engaged in substantive discussions with European leaders, while the Chief Executive's family, the student groups, and journalists toured historical and cultural sites in the host countries.
The mission was originally planned to visit ten countries in Europe, however following the breakout of the East Bulgarian War and the signing of the Treaty of Cardiff in the United Kingdom and the resulting government transition, stops in Europa and the United Kingdom were removed from the trip.
The following countries were visited during the trade mission:
- East Germany
- West Germany
- 22x20px Imperium Skandinavisk
- 22x20px Benelux
The East Asian delegation arrived in Berlin on April 22, 2012. After an arrival ceremony at Tegel Airport, the government officials and business leaders were escorted to hotels.
The following day, Monday, April 23, was the start of discussions.