Hanoi (VNA) – Amid the regional and global economic downturn, ASEAN must open its markets sharply, remove trade barriers and work together to create new engines of growth to catch up with the current major trend of transition, said Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the 40th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh on November 11.
The Vietnamese leader affirmed that Vietnam is willing to work closely with Cambodia and other ASEAN countries to ensure the success of ASEAN conferences.
Sharing the views of ASEAN leaders on the difficulties and challenges facing the association, the Vietnamese prime minister voiced support for the ASEAN 2022 theme “ACT: Overcoming Challenges Together.”
“ASEAN’s 55-year journey has proven that solidarity is the decisive factor in ASEAN’s success and the strength of the association to maintain its stability under the current insecure circumstances,” the Prime Minister said. Minister Chinh.
He said the more difficulties and challenges ASEAN faces, the more the grouping should promote the spirit of “community thinking, community action”, stand side by side, show self-reliance and respond proactively. to all challenges. This has been proven by the achievements the association has gained in controlling the pandemic and economic recovery.
Prime Minister Chinh urged ASEAN to maintain the lessons of cooperation and coordinated actions in pandemic control, response and prevention.
He proposed organizing a high-level forum in the first half of 2023 to promote partnership for equitable recovery and sustainable growth in ASEAN.
With the motto of making people the center, the goal and the driving force of the community building process, the Vietnamese head of government suggested that the ASEAN Community Vision Post 2025 should pay due attention to all social groups, promote inclusive growth and ensure equal enjoyment for all.
The vision should also harmonize equal development, sustainable growth and policies to promote hard and soft infrastructure in the sub-regions, with the common ASEAN process to create a synergistic force and development driving force for the whole region.
He stressed the need for the association to strengthen coordination in vocational training, especially in emerging economic sectors, in order to improve adaptability in a flexible and efficient manner.
Along with the trend of green development, countries in the region should intensify their cooperation in the development of digital government, digital economy, green economy, circular economy and digital society with a view to transforming digital transformation, green economy and circular economy into a new impetus for regional development.
Along with other ASEAN leaders, PM Chinh showed Vietnam’s principled support for Timor Leste’s admission to ASEAN in accordance with ASEAN procedures, with the initial decision to grant the country observer status.
Regarding international and regional issues, he affirmed that ASEAN must maintain its centrality, in which it is necessary to accelerate the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC ), and to intensify efforts to build an effective and substantive East Sea Code of Conduct (COC) consistent with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
In his remarks at the summit, ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi gave an update on the progress of implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 across the three pillars with many positive results.
The implementation rate of the lines of action in the political-security pillar reached 98%, with numerous cooperation activities in defence, cybersecurity, prevention of transnational crime, justice, border management as well than in cooperation between ASEAN and its partners.
GDP growth in the region is expected to reach 5.1% in 2022 and 5.0% in 2023, while trade and foreign investment recorded positive progress, despite global challenges from geopolitical tensions, rising inflation and financial difficulties.
The service sector, especially tourism, has seen a strong recovery thanks to widespread vaccination programs.
Cooperation in the fields of education, health, environment, culture and art, human resources development and response to climate change continues to be encouraged in order to improve the people’s quality of life.
Leaders from other countries have applauded Cambodia’s efforts to lead and set the direction of ASEAN cooperation with many important initiatives.
ASEANASEAN’s achievements over the past year are strong evidence of the grouping’s resilience and adaptability, the leaders said, and asserted that the key to ASEAN’s success in the past is the present and the future, lies in the efforts and the determination of all the member countries to maintain the unity and central role of the grouping.
ASEAN leaders hailed efforts to develop a vision for the ASEAN community after 2025, stressing the importance and guidance of the documents regarding ASEAN cooperation and integration over the next decade, especially in light of the complex and unpredictable shifts in the regional and international situation.
Based on the assessment report of the three pillars of political-security, economy and socio-culture, the leaders adopted a statement on Timor Leste’s application for ASEAN membership, expressing their support in principle for the admission of Timor Leste as the 11th member of ASEAN, granting observer status to Timor Leste and instructing the ASEAN Coordinating Council to develop a roadmap for membership of the country to submit to the 42nd ASEAN Summit for consideration and decision.
On this occasion, they expressed their appreciation for the substantial efforts and contributions of ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi in promoting the process of building the ASEAN community and promoting the position and image of the ASEAN community over the past 5 years.
The summit also agreed to appoint Kao Kim Hourn as ASEAN Secretary General for the 2023-2027 term.
Concluding the event, the ASEAN Leaders adopted many important documents such as the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on ASEAN ACT: Tackling Challenges Together, the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the 55th Anniversary of ASEAN and ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the Post-2025 ASEAN Connectivity Agenda.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, includes 10 countries from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.