The Laotian Government has pulled out all the stops to upgrade key infrastructure facilities in preparation for the 9 th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM-9) which is scheduled for November 5 and 6 in the capital, Vientiane .

The country is currently expanding Wattay International Airport , so it will be capable of handling 15 Boeing 747 aircraft at a time. It is also building villas and upgrading major hotels in Vientiane to house the ASEM delegations on top of constructing a modern international convention centre, revealed Deputy Foreign Minister Bounkeut Sangsomsak to reporters in Vientiane on Feb. 16.

Laos has already put in place a national committee to oversee ASEM-9 with the Prime Minister in the chair, he added.

This year’s ASEM will focus on regional and global issues such as the global economy, the credit crisis and socio-cultural cooperation.

Three other events, namely the 7 th Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP 7), the 9 th Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF 9) and the 13 th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF 13) will be held on the sidelines of ASEM-9.

Also on Feb. 16, representatives from diplomatic corps and domestic and overseas reporters were invited to visit and inspect several key infrastructure projects, underlining the importance the country attaches to this major event./.