VIENTIANE, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- Final preparations for the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) were underway here on Sunday with delegates from 51 members gathering for what has been termed the largest ever international event hosted by Laos, an official said here.
Many of the estimated 4,000 delegates from the member countries have arrived in the capital prepared for strong engagement during the two day summit that kicks off on Monday afternoon under the theme "Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity."
European leaders attending the Laos talks are expected to provide an update on efforts to address tensions in financial market, to restore confidence and to stimulate growth and jobs.
The reform of international financial institutions and protectionism will also be on the agenda.
The second plenary session on Tuesday is to focus on terrorism, piracy at sea and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Energy security, water resources management and food security will also be discussed.
It was reported that many Asian leaders are eager to exchange views with their European counterparts on the Eurozone crisis, trade and investment facilitation, energy and food security, disaster management, counter-terrorism, migration and other regional issues.
China's Premier Wen Jiabao's presence at the summit is also expected to boost China's engagement in crucial issues of mutual interest.
Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard is also expected to speak about the need to continue free-trade talks as well as the Group of 20 (G20) agenda. As the latest member of ASEM, her address to the summit on Monday will gain much attention since she is planning to focus on the wobbling global economy. "More than 770 reporters have registered to cover the summit with around 400 already working at the international media center. An estimated 120 staff have been employed at the center," an ASEM organization committee staffer Bounmy Vanmany told Xinhua during a brief interview.
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has provided a forum for dialogue between leaders of European and Asian nations since 1996. The members represent around 58 percent of the world's population, half of global Gross Domestic Product and more than 60 percent of international commerce.