The 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM 9) opened in Laos’ capital city Vientiane on November 5. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is leading a Vietnamese delegation to the event.

After an official welcome ceremony hosted by General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party and President Choummaly Sayasone, and Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong, the ASEM leaders witnessed the admission ceremony for three new members, including Bangladesh, Switzerland and Norway.

The leaders affirmed that the participation of the three countries in the ASEM proves its attraction of ASEM as well as adds strengths to and creates a new position for the forum’s cooperation.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Choummaly Sayasone stressed that ASEM 9 is an important event not only for ASEM cooperation but also for consolidating the trend of dialogue, cooperation and connectivity in the two continents and the world over, especially in the context of rapid and complicated development.

Thoongsing Thammavong said that the summit, themed “Friendship for Peace, Partnership for Prosperity”, will focus discussions on major measures to strengthen ASEM cooperation in maintaining peace and stability, boosting economic recovery and coping with global challenges.

At the first closed-door meeting on economic-financial issues, the Asian and European leaders agreed that the world economy continues to see difficulties with slow growth and deeper public crisis in the Eurozone.

In that context, they affirmed their determination to create a new impulse for economic cooperation between the two continents in order to boost a rapid, sustainable, balanced and fair growth; and focus on strengthening financial cooperation, connectivity and facilitation of trade and investment, addressing the employment issue, restoring confidence in the market, improving the transparency and accelerating the reform of the financial system.

Participants expressed their support for measures set out at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos to boost growth and job generation as well as change the growth model.

They agreed to continue contributing to efforts to reform global economic administration and international financial institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in the direction of raising the voice and role of emerging and developing economies, as well as supporting a multilateral financial system and the successful conclusion of the Doha negotiation round.

Addressing the function, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stressed that in the context of more severe global challenges, the demand for increased cooperation and regional connectivity becomes more urgent than ever.

In that context, the Vietnamese PM proposed the ASEM create a new momentum for the forum’s economic cooperation pillar through closer coordination of the economic-financial policies and stronger implementation of ASEM’s action plans on Trade Facilitation and Investment Promotion.

At the same time, the ASEM economic ministerial meeting mechanism should be re-activated after nearly 10 years of suspension, he said.

During the cooperation process, ASEM needs to pay due attention to development, regional and inter-regional connectivity and ways to narrow the development gap, and ensure the balance of interests between developed and developing members, Dung added.

He further said that ASEM members should speed up experience sharing and cooperation on growth model and green economic development, especially in agricultural and rural development.

With its potentials and position, ASEM needs to continue supporting and contributing the reform of the International Monetary Fund and international financial institutions in a fairer, more democratic and effective manner, he added.

The PM also demonstrated Vietnam’s determination to stabilise and make the macro economy healthier, curb inflation, improve investment environment, develop production and business, renovate the growth model, ensure social security and contribute to the joint efforts of the region and the world.

On the threshold of the summit which runs until November 6, the 13 Asia-Europe Business Forum took place.

The leaders praised the businesses’ recommendations such as creating favourable conditions for trade and investment, ensuring food security, energy security and strengthening regional connectivity, with focus on sub-regions of the two continents, including the East Asia and the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

Addressing the event, PM Dung spoke highly of the businesses’ role in the joint efforts to restore and develop the economy and affirmed Vietnam ’s policy of positive and active international integration and macro- economy stabilisation.

He also asked the business circle to make more contributions to the Governments’ joint efforts to strengthen economic-trade cooperation between the two continents, revitalise the economy and enhance the public-private partnership.-VNA