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9th ASEM Summit kicks off in Laos

11-05-2012 15:08 BJT Special Report:Wen Attends 9th ASEM, Visits Laos |

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The 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit is set to kick off in Vientiane, capital city of Laos. The theme of the two-day meeting is "Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity".

The summit, held every two years in Asia and Europe alternately, is a forum for Asian and European leaders to discuss regional and international issues of common concern.

Leaders attending the ASEM Summit are being welcomed by the Lao President Choummaly Sayasone and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong.

There are currently 48 ASEM partner-countries in Asia and Europe. Three new members, Bangladesh, Switzerland and Norway will also officially join the group this year.

The European economic crisis is expected to dominate the talks. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy is attending the summit against a backdrop of continuing economic problems in the continent.

Discussions are expected to cover strengthening trade and investment ties between the two regions and how Asia’s dynamism can shore up a faltering Europe.

Leaders are excepted to exchange views and explore ways to promote better understanding and enhance cooperation among ASEM partner-countries.

The normally quiet backwater of Laos has been preparing for months to host the gathering.

Among those attending are China’s Premier Wen Jiabao, Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, France’s President Francois Hollande, Italy’s Premier Mario Monti, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Editor:Zhou Minxi |Source:

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