Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attends the 40th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Photo: VNA)
Amidst the regional and global economic slowdown, the ASEAN needs to strongly open its markets, remove trade barriers, and work together to create new growth engines to catch up with current major transition trend, stated 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 opinions of ASEAN leaders on difficulties and challenges facing the association, the Vietnamese PM showed support to the theme of the ASEAN 2022 “ACT: Addressing Challenges Together”.
“The past 55-year path of ASEAN has proved that solidarity is the decisive factor to ASEAN’s success and the strength for the association to maintain its stability amid the current insecure circumstances,” PM Chinh said.
He affirmed that the more difficulties and challenges that ASEAN faces, the more the grouping needs to promote the spirit of “community thinking, community action”, stand side by side, show self-reliance and proactively respond to all challenges. This has been proved by achievements that the association has gained in pandemic control and economic recovery.
PM Chinh urged the ASEAN to uphold lessons in cooperation and coordinated actions in pandemic control, response and prevention.
He proposed the organisation of 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, goal and driving force of the community building process, the Vietnamese government leader suggested that the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025 should pay due attention to all social groups, promote inclusive growth and ensure equal enjoyment of all people.
The vision should also harmonise equal development, sustainable growth, and policies to promote hard and soft infrastructure in sub-regions, with ASEAN’s common process in order to create synergised strength and development driving force for the entire region.
He underlined the need for the association to boost coordination in vocational training, especially in emerging economic sectors to improve adaptive capacity in a flexible and effective manner.
Along with the trend of green development, regional countries need to step up cooperation in the development of digital government, digital economy, green economy, circular economy, digital society with a view to turning digital transformation, green economy, and circular economy into a fresh impetus for regional development.
Together with other ASEAN leaders, PM Chinh showed Vietnam’s support in principle for Timor Leste’s admission to ASEAN according to the procedures in ASEAN, with the initial move of awarding the country with the observer status.
Regarding international and regional issues, he affirmed that ASEAN needs to maintain its centrality, in which it is necessary to accelerate the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and step up efforts to build an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
An overview of the event (Photo: VNA)
In his remarks at the summit, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi updated the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 on all three pillars with many positive results.
The rate of implementation of action lines in the political-security pillar reached 98%, with numerous cooperation activities in defence, cyber security, transnational crime prevention, justice, border management as well as in cooperation between ASEAN and its partners.
GDP growth in the region is forecast to hit 5.1% in 2022 and 5.0% in 2023, while trade and foreign investment recorded positive progress, despite global challenges due to geopolitical tensions, rising inflation and tight finances.
The service sector, especially tourism, saw a strong recovery thanks to widespread vaccination programmes.
Cooperation in education, health, the environment, culture and art, human resource development, and climate change response continue to be promoted in order to improve the quality of life for people.
Leaders of other countries applauded the efforts of Cambodia to lead and outline orientations for ASEAN cooperation with many important initiatives.
ASEAN’s achievements over the past year are strong evidence of the grouping’s resilience and adaptability, the leaders said, and affirmed that the key to ASEAN’s success, in the past, present and future, is the efforts and determination of all member countries to maintain the unity and central role of the grouping.
ASEAN leaders welcomed efforts to build a vision of the ASEAN Community after 2025, emphasising the significance and orientations of documents regarding ASEAN cooperation and integration in the coming decade, especially in light of the complicated and unpredictable movements of the regional and international situation.
Based on the assessment report of the three pillars of politics-security, economy and socio-culture, the leaders adopted a statement on Timor Leste’s application for ASEAN membership, expressing their support in principle the admission of Timor Leste as the 11th member of ASEAN, granting observer status to Timor Leste and assigning the ASEAN Coordinating Council to develop a roadmap for the country’s accession to submit to the 42nd ASEAN Summit for making consideration and decision.
On this occasion, they expressed their appreciation for the efforts and substantive contributions of ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi to 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 the Secretary-General of ASEAN for the 2023-2027 tenure.
Concluding the event, ASEAN leaders adopted many important documents such as the ASEAN leaders’ vision statement on ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together, ASEAN leaders’ statement on the 55th anniversary of ASEAN, and ASEAN leaders’ statement on ASEAN connectivity post-2025 agenda.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, groups 10 countries of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam./.