National Convention Centre, Vientiane, Lao PDR
6 November 2012

After two consecutive days, the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) formally concludes in a closing ceremony held at the National Convention Centre in Vientiane, Lao PDR.

This is the first time that President Benigno S. Aquino III participated in the forum since assuming office.

ASEM 9 gathered 52 Heads of State/Government/Delegation with the accession of three new member partners from Norway, Switzerland and Bangladesh. It represents 50% of world Gross Domestic Product (GDP), about 58% of the world’s population and 60% of world trade.

In the Chairman’s statement delivered by Laos Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong from the host country, the ASEM leaders held a candid and in-depth discussion as well as exchanged views on the following issues of common concern – Reinforcing Economic Partnership, Fostering Political Dialogue, Global Issues, Regional Issues, Further Strengthening ASEM Partnership and Future of ASEM.

The Philippines was lauded by the ASEM leaders in its hosting of the 7th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue on harnessing the benefits and addressing the challenges of migration through interfaith and inter-cultural dialogue held in 2011, and welcomed the outcome of the said dialogue.

The leaders also reaffirmed their determination to respect the right of ASEM peoples to freely choose their political system and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development in accordance with the UN Charter and international law.

ASEM is the only forum where Europe and Asia engage one another at the highest levels of government to discuss international issues of common concern and formulate mutually beneficial cooperation on a region-to-region basis.

The 10th ASEM Summit will take place in Brussels, Belgium on the second half of 2014.

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