VIENTIANE, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- The ASEAN chairmanship will provide an opportunity for Laos to publicize its foreign policy and the policy relating to economic cooperation between Laos and other countries, said Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith.
According to a press released by Laos' Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, Laos is set to promote community building and enhance cooperation on ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) connectivity and resilience during its term as chair.
At a press conference held here last Friday, Saleumxay highlighted a number of opportunities that will open up for Laos when the country commences its ASEAN chairmanship on Jan. 1, 2024.
Laos will become the chair of the regional bloc at a time when the Visit Laos Year 2024 tourism promotion campaign will also be rolled out. This will be a huge opportunity for Laos to highlight its tourism industry and the country's lifestyle and cultural attractions, in a bid to attract more visitors.
The ASEAN chairmanship will be an opportunity for Laos to enhance the country profile and play the role of leading the regional bloc in the international arena and to promote community building, ASEAN connectivity and resilience under the theme of "ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience."
During its chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024, Laos will play a leading role in representing ASEAN in the regional and international arenas and contributing to ASEAN community building and publicizing the grouping's vision.
The deputy prime minister also highlighted challenges for Laos in leading the regional grouping.
"The global situation now and in 2024 will be so different from that in 2016, when Laos assumed the ASEAN chair for the second time," said Saleumxay.
"We are living in an era of geopolitical and geo-economic rivalry and ASEAN is no exception, as it has been affected by situations across the world."
However, Saleumxay believes that with the unity and support of all ASEAN member countries, dialogue partners and other external partners, Laos' chairmanship will be successful and ASEAN as a whole will overcome all challenges.
Since Laos became a member of ASEAN in 1997, the country has played an active role in the bloc's affairs in the political, economic and socio-cultural spheres, and also contributed to promoting regional stability and security. ■