The ninth summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) will take place in Vientiane, Laos, from November 5-6, with the heads of State and leaders of 48 member countries expected to attend.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, the summit, themed ‘Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity’, will consolidate the role and the contributions that ASEM makes to peace, cooperation and connectivity between both continents.

The admission of three new members, Bangladesh , Norway and Switzerland , will also increase the potential for cooperation within the forum, he said.

Son further said that realising ASEM’s important role in the country’s external relations policy, to serve the national renewal, Vietnam joined the forum at a very early date as one of the founding members.

All the partners that Vietnam has a strategic and comprehensive relationship with are ASEM members, he said. Therefore the country’s active participation in ASEM has made it possible for it to foster and deepen its bilateral ties with partners in both continents.

Over the past 16 years, Vietnam has proposed 15 initiatives and been involved in 19 others, in many sectors including culture, climate change, labour, energy security, tourism and economics.

Since ASEM 8 in Brussels in October 2010, Vietnam has successfully implemented two initiatives to strengthen cooperation to cope with post-crisis challenges and on green growth.

At ASEM 9, Vietnam will continue to propose initiatives, furthering ASEAN’s position and contributing to making the Asia-Europe partnership more practical and effective, said the Deputy Foreign Minister.-VNA