Nearly 200 senior officials from 51 members, including three new, of the Asia-Europe cooperation forum (ASEM) gathered in Vientiane on November 1-3 to complete preparations for the 9th ASEM Summit.

The ASEM Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASEM SOM) stressed the importance of the summit amidst rapid and complicated changes in the world as well as in both continents.

They highly valued efforts by host Laos in preparing for the summit. The successful organisation of the 7th Asia-Europe Parliament Partnership Forum and the 9 th Asia-Europe People’s Forum in October proved the country’s ability to host important international events, contributing to raising Laos ’ position and the image and role of ASEAN in the international arena.

The Vietnamese delegation actively participated in the ASEM SOM and made several proposals and recommendations to contents discussed at the meeting, thus contributing to promoting consensus in economic-financial issues, highlighting ASEAN’s central role and positive contributions to maintaining peace, security and stability in the region as well as enhancing Asia-Europe cooperation./.VNA