Over 5,000 official delegates, business leaders of whom 200 are foreign media personnel will attend and cover the 28th and 29th Asean Summits to be held back-to-back in Vientiane early next month.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Department reported that more than 200 media personnel had already applied to cover events to be held from September 6-8 following the opening of foreign media registration processes two days prior on Wednesday (August 10).
The highest registered number of foreign news media applications had come from Japan (over 40 media personnel), followed by China (over 30) and Thailand (30), they confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Republic of Korea has informed the Lao Embassy in Seoul that they expect about 80 news media personnel from the country will apply for necessary accreditation in order to provide coverage for audiences at home.
Additionally, major and well-known western established news media organisations like AP, Reuters and AFP have already registered to cover the summits and associated meetings in Laos.
Officials in charge from the Press Department also said global leaders will take an opportunity of attending the summits to pay official visits to Laos and conversely many journalists will come with their delegations to cover the summits and bilateral meetings.
The number of foreign media personnel during the Asean Summits is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500, perhaps even more given that key global leaders have confirmed to attend the summits in Laos.
Among these foreign leaders is US President Barack Obama who will be the first head of state from that country to visit Laos.
When Laos hosted the 10th Asean Summit and its related meetings in 2004, between 800-900 foreign media personnel came to Laos to report the event.
However, the 28th and 29th Asean Summits are taking place at a crucial juncture when Asean focuses its efforts on implementing the Asean Community Vision 2025 and enhancing cooperation with external partners.
The summits are follow establishment of the Asean Community on December 31, 2015, providing greater economic opportunities not only for the region’s population of some 620 million, but also for citizens of regional and global partners.
Asean has evolved into a single market and production base with a combined GDP of US$2.6 trillion, ranking as the 7th largest economy in the world.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Asean Department Director General Mr Phongsavanh Sisoulath told Vientiane Times last week that around 5,000 personnel are expected to come to Laos during Summits. These will include official delegates, media personnel and business leaders.
During the 49th Asean Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (49th AMM) and related meetings held in Vientiane from July 21-26, over 460 foreign media personnel visited Laos to report.
They were provided with various facilities located at the Foreign Media Centre (FMC) at Vientiane’s International Cooperation and Training Centre (ICTC), featuring including technical support, internet access and refreshments area.
Lessons learnt from July meetings are being incorporated as the FMC is re-established at the ICTC.
The media centre is to be equipped with a registration and information desk, internet accessible PCs, internet connections for laptops, host signal area, satellite transmission area and news media booths.
Source: Vientiane Times