Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith said Monday in Tokyo that international and regional frameworks, including Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations, have “great importance in moving forward the process of globalization.”
Attending a business forum, he noted concern over the rise of antiglobalization movements including opposition to free trade.
The multilateral frameworks “will bring about direct benefits to our region, peace and stability that are requisite and essential for social and economic development, which in turn have a positive impact on political stability and social order and help reduce conflicts,” the prime minister said.
He stressed the importance of roles to be played by ASEAN and its related forums.
“Asia has adopted regional and subregional architectures, for instance the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community, ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3…East Asia Summit…among others all of which have formed a solid foundation and provided important forums covering wide range of areas aimed at finding an appropriate solution for political and economic conflicts by peaceful means based on the principle of mutual benefits and at a pace comfortable to all or the ASEAN way,” he said.
“ASEAN will remain the driving force in all ASEAN mechanisms in collaboration with external partners,” the premier said. “We urge the international community to continue to supporting ASEAN in this enterprise.”
“Asia has been experiencing a rapid growth and has remained a region of great diversity,” he said.
“Diversity should not be seen as a hindrance. On the contrary, it should be regarded as an opportunity to reinforce regional strength for Asia to integrate better in the process of globalization,” the prime minister said.
On securing peace and stability in the region, he called for a peaceful resolution of disputes, opposition to the use of all forms of force and respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
His remarks came as several ASEAN countries are involved in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.
Prime Minister Thongloun, who arrived in Japan on Sunday, is expected to hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shizo Abe later this week.
Source: Lao News Agency