The world is tending towards the formation of regional blocs for the integration of economies, while maintaining international stability, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Thongloun Sisoulith has said.
Dr Thongloun was speaking to hundreds of teachers and researchers at the National University of Laos in Vientiane on Monday, highlighting the complexity of global changes over the past five and 10 years.
He said the formation of such blocs aimed to help individual nations and enhance their cooperation and communication with global communities.
As part of a regional bloc, members have more power in trade and investment negotiation with other powerful nations or regional blocs, while contributing to security in the region and the world.
Dr Thongloun said regional groupings did not intend to compete with each other for military purposes or seek to destroy each other, as most nations wanted to be free from conflict and the threat of war.
Not wanting to be isolated, Laos joined Asean in 1997 so as to integrate its economy with that of other countries and move from being a landlocked country to a land link.
Asean plans to establish the Asean Community in 2015, providing a combined single market of more than 500 million people.
The role of Asean has grown, with more nations interested in sending ambassadors to its headquarters in Indonesia in a bid to strengthen relations with the regional bloc.
The world is also trending in a multipolar direction so as achieve a balance of power. Despite the recent economic crisis, the economies of most socialist states have continued to grow, particularly in China, Vietnam and Laos.
Dr Thongloun also informed participants about the foreign policy of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party, which seeks to promote peace, independence and cooperation with all nations based on the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs.
Thanks to this policy, Laos has established diplomatic relations with 131 nations and has 33 overseas embassies and six consulates.
The Lao People's Revolutionary Party has good relations with more than 100 political parties throughout the world and has also established friendship associations with 16 nations as part of efforts to strengthen relations and cooperation.
Laos is very active in enforcing foreign policy to create friendships with other countries despite complex global changes.
Dr Thongloun also talked about conflicts in the Middle East and other regions so participants were aware of the situation and future trends.