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ASEAN Summits Wrap Up to Great Acclaim

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The Lao government has expressed its satisfaction with its great accomplishment in hosting the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and related summits, which wrapped up in Vientiane yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference held shortly after the summits ended, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said during all the meetings we had very comprehensive, candid and fruitful discussions.

At least 12 summits took place over the past three days, of which nine involved ASEAN and its dialogue partners under the ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, and East Asia Summit cooperation framework.

The summits brought several thousand people to Laos including top leaders, businesspeople and media, putting the landlocked Southeast Asian nation in the global spotlight.

More than 1,030 personnel from 256 foreign media organisations came to Laos to cover the summits.

The three days of meetings, which began on Tuesday, resulted in the adoption of many joint statements and other important documents.

These included declarations on ASEAN’s response to natural disasters, transitioning from informal to formal employment towards decent work promotion in ASEAN, and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration work plan and master plan on ASEAN Connectivity for 2025.

These documents are linked to the eight priority areas under Laos’ ASEAN chairmanship this year and will serve as guidelines for cooperation within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its dialogue and external partners.

At the 28th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane on Tuesday, leaders adopted the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) which stated that ASEAN needs at least US$110 billion of infrastructure investment each year to support future growth.

MPAC 2025 aims to help investors seize opportunities in sustainable infrastructure by improving project preparation, enhancing infrastructure productivity, and supporting cities in adopting sustainable practices.

The number of tourists from outside ASEAN could reach 150 million by 2025. The MPAC 2025 will focus on providing comprehensive information on travel options and simplifying visa application processes.

Also on Tuesday, ASEAN leaders adopted the third Work Plan of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI Work Plan III) aiming to narrow the development gap and enhance the region’s competitiveness.

Since the start of the first IAI Work Plan, more than 600 projects and activities worth over US$102 million have been implemented.

ASEAN also accepted the accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia by Chile, Egypt and Morocco.

With external partners, ASEAN leaders held summits with dialogue partners China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, United States, Australia and the United Nations. Leaders agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas to ensure more efficiency and effectiveness, particularly cooperation in trade, investment, connectivity, tourism and people-to-people exchanges, based on mutual benefits.

During the three days of meetings, Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, representing Laos as the Chair of ASEAN this year, hosted several summits including the 19th ASEAN-China Summit, 19th ASEAN-Japan Summit, 18th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, 19th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, ASEAN-Australia Summit, 8th ASEAN-UN Summit, 8th Mekong-Japan Summit, 4th ASEAN-United States of America Summit, and 11th East Asia Summit.

At the closing ceremony, Laos handed over the Chairmanship of ASEAN to the Philippines but will continue to carry out the role of ASEAN Chair until December 31, 2016.

 

Source: Vientiane Times