NCC, Vientiane, Lao PDR
5 November 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III was welcomed by Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic at the National Convention Centre just before the Opening Ceremony of the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) in the nation’s capital of Vientiane.

He is among the 12 Heads of State joining the other 22 Heads of Government, 1 Deputy Prime Minister, 12 Ministers including the Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), 3 Vice Ministers and 2 Ambassadors for a total of 52 leaders attending the ASEM 9 from 5-6 November 2012.

This is the President’s first time to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting since assuming office and it signals the Philippines’ renewed focus on Europe and reaffirms the importance of the region as an economic and political partner.

A group photo session followed after the arrival of all the ASEM leaders.

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