Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Thoungloun Sisoulith has conveyed a message to mark the 44th anniversary of the founding of ASEAN (8 August 1967) and the 14th anniversary of Laos accession to ASEAN (23 July 1997).
On the occasion, Dr. Thougloun called on relevant agencies and people to pay closely to get the high benefits of the participation of the Lao PDR in the ASEAN Community that will be established in 2015.
He also urged them paying attention for the linkage of Laos economy into the region and the world so as to further contribute to the common cause of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, prosperity and well-being of the peoples of Asean.
On behalf of the government, I congratulate to all officials, cadres, police, venerable monks, entrepreneurs and merchants as well as Lao people of all ethnic group for your contributions to the cause of national development in general and your active contribution to the work of Asean over the past 14 years, said Dr. Thoungloun.
Since that, it has brought significant benefit to our country as well as further raising the profile of the Lao PDR in Asean amidst the ongoing Asean efforts in accelerate the establishment of its Community by 2015, he continued.
Over the past year, Asean was able to record important achievements both in its community building and the external relations, especially in its cooperation with dialogue partners.
This years achievement of Asean has encountered various challenges related to political-security issues, natural disaster, and food and energy instability.
This has reaffirmed Asean's vital role and ability in carrying out policies that enabled it to overcome such challenges effectively which is recognised by the international community as manifested by their expressed intention to further strengthen their cooperation with Asean.
This has been made possible thanks to the close cooperation among ASEAN Member States as well as between Asean and its external partners which has been carried out in accordance with the principles of peaceful co-existence, respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of each other, equality and mutual benefit.
During the past year, Asean has made considerable progress in its endeavour to establish an Asean community, consisting of three pillars, namely, the Asean Political-Security Community, the Asean Economic Community and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community.
Over the past 14 years, Laos has made every effort for the common cause of Asean in parallel with the implementation of the Party and States open-door policy to widen external relations through cooperation with countries in various regions so as to create an environment conducive to our national development based on the principles of respect for independence, sovereignty, non-interference in the internal affairs of each other, equality and mutual benefit.
The integration of our economy into the Asean region as well as the participation in the Asean Free Trade Area, and free trade areas with dialogue partners comprising, among others, trade in goods, trade in services, investment, and the preparation for the membership in the WTO are the efforts to gradually integrate the economy of Laos into the region which remains a huge challenge for Laos to ensure that such economic integration can bring in considerable benefit to the country.
I would like to express my sincere thanks and profound gratitude and convey my heartfelt congratulations to all segments of the society for the continued support and important contributions to ASEAN matters, Dr. Thougloun added.