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ASEM 9 Summit’s Overview

This year marks the 16th anniversary of the establishment of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).  Since its inception in 1996, the ASEM process has remarkably evolved. It has expanded its membership from 26 partners in 1996 to present 48 partners from Asia and Europe, thus reflecting the deepening cooperation between the two regions. The ASEM process has made significant contribute to the promotion of mutual understanding, peace, stability, development and prosperity of Asia and Europe.

Throughout these years, ASEM has gone through the period of complex and rapid changes. It has faced with many challenges such as climate change, economic and financial crisis, high prices of food and energy, natural disasters, outbreak of infectious diseases and others, which have negatively impacted the socio-economic development of the two regions. Despite the challenges, today ASEM remains relevant and continues to be an important forum for ASEM partners to share their thoughts, exchange views and explore ways and means in promoting better understanding and enhancing cooperation between Asia and Europe and in addressing the various challenges.

The 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit or ASEM 9 will be held on 5 - 6 November 2012 in Vientiane, Lao PDR under the theme: “Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity”. It will provide yet another important occasion for Leaders of Asia and Europe to discuss regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including, among others, food and energy security, sustainable development, financial and economic crisis, climate change, natural disaster response, socio-cultural cooperation and future direction of ASEM.

Besides the hosting of ASEM 9, the Lao PDR will also organise other important ASEM sideline events, namely Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF), Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP) and for leaders of  Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) in Vientiane in 2012. The Government and multi-ethnic people of the Lao PDR feel honored to be entrusted to host the ASEM 9 and related events and are looking forward to warmly welcoming all ASEM Leaders and delegates to Vientiane in 2012.