Vientiane is set to be in a significant global spotlight as thousands of foreign delegates and media personnel are scheduled to arrive in the country for the ASEAN Summits next month.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ ASEAN Department Director General Mr. Phongsavanh Sisoulath told Vientiane Times on Tuesday that around 5,000 people are expected to come to Laos during the meetings.
“I think that official delegates will be as high as 3,000 and the rest will be media personnel and business leaders,” Mr. Phongsavanh said.
The 28th and 29th Asean Summit s have been set to be held back-to-back in Vientiane on September 6-8.
The event will start with a number of ASEAN senior officials’ meetings on September 4 that will continue until September 5.
The ministerial-level meetings will take place in the morning of September 6 before the opening ceremony of the summits occurs in the afternoon of the same day.
During the 3-day summits Prime Minister ThonglounSisoulith, as chair of the Lao Asean Chairmanship this year, will host a total 11 of summits in Vientiane.
These will include the 19th Asean-China Summit, 19th Asean-Japan Summit, 18th Asean-Republic of Korea Summit, 19th AseanPlus 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 and so on.
This year’s Asean Summits will also see the attendance of global leaders including President Barrack Obama, who will be the first US president to visit the country.
The summits will not only help to further strengthen regional cooperation but also enhance the profile of Laos in the international arena.
The Lao government has attached great importance to hosting these events by improving roads, hotels and other facilities to accommodate the summits.
Additionally, a number of workshops and seminars have been held to train the functionaries and staff to be deployed during the summits.
On Tuesday, officials held a conference in Vientiane to briefly inform members of the diplomatic corps, international organisations and media about the progress made in Laos’ preparation for the Asean Summits.
During the conference, officials highlighted the country’s readiness in various fields particularly in arrangements concerning the airport, security, protocols, transportation, healthcare, hotels and media facilities.
Laos gained Asean membership in 1997 and first chaired Asean in 2004 when it hosted the 10th Asean Summit and its related meetings.
ASEAN, established in 1967, groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Source: Vientiane Times