The 9th ASEM Summit of Heads of State and Government (ASEM9) was hosted on 5-6 November 2012 by the Lao PDR. The theme for the Summit was Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity.
2012 marked the 16th anniversary of the establishment of Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Since its inception in 1996, the ASEM process remarkably expanded its membership from 26 partners in 1996 to present 48 partners from Asia and Europe, thus reflecting the deepening cooperation between the two regions. The ASEM process made significant contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding, peace, stability, development and prosperity of Asia and Europe.
Throughout the years, ASEM has gone through the period of complex and rapid changes. It has faced with many challenges such as climate change, economic and financial crisis, high prices of food and energy, natural disasters, outbreak of infectious diseases and others, which have negatively impacted the socio-economic development of the two regions. Despite the challenges, ASEM remains relevant and continues to be an important forum for ASEM partners to share their thoughts, exchange views and explore ways and means in promoting better understanding and enhancing cooperation between Asia and Europe and in addressing the various challenges.
The Summit provided yet another important occasion for Leaders of Asia and Europe to discuss regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including, among others, food and energy security, sustainable development, financial and economic crisis, climate change, natural disaster response, socio-cultural cooperation and future direction of ASEM.
Besides the hosting of ASEM 9, the Lao PDR also organised other important ASEM sideline events, namely Asia-Europe People’s Forum (AEPF), Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting (ASEP) and for leaders of Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) in 2012 in Vientiane.