Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the opening session of the 42nd ASEAN Summit. (Photo: VNA)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highlighted three core factors to ASEAN’s characteristics, values, vitality and reputation, which are maintaining independence and strategy self-reliance, turning itself into a growth epicenter and better adapting to external shocks in his remarks at the opening session of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia, on May 10 morning.
The Vietnamese leader emphasised that strengthening solidarity and unity should be the key task for an independent, self-resilient ASEAN.
Given risks and uncertainties of the global economy, Chinh stressed the urgent need for the ten-member grouping to expand the intra market in order to promote recovery and sustainable development.
He called for efforts in negotiations to advance the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, and concertedly and drastically rolling out projects on regional connectivity in terms of institutions, infrastructure and people, thus creating quality changes in the investment, business and tourism environment.
Chinh also suggested ASEAN step up cooperation in digital economy, digital government and circular economy in tandem with electricity connectivity and renewable energy development, soon set forth long-term strategies on high-quality personnel training, and approve Mutual Recognition Arrangements in some sectors and consider their application in new ones.
With the spirit of taking people as the growth centre, target and momentum in ASEAN Community building, the bloc should work to narrow its development gap, especially in remote areas and sub-regions, he continued.
Moreover, sub-regional cooperation needs to go in parallel with ASEAN cooperation programmes in all spheres to ensure better lives for residents, the PM said.
To achieve the goal of and aspirations for peace, security, stability and prosperity, he appealed to ASEAN member countries to join hands in building self-resilience and solidarity, unlock development resources, and raise breakthrough initiatives to build the ASEAN Community, helping the bloc turn itself into a growth epicentre regionally and globally.
In his opening speech, Indonesian President Joko Widodo also stressed that with its unity, ASEAN would be able to play a central role in bringing peace and economic growth ASEAN matters.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo speaks at the opening session of the 42nd ASEAN Summit. (Photo: VNA)
“At the moment, the global economy has not fully recovered. Major power rivalries continue to sharpen. The global dynamic becomes more unpredictable,” he pointed out.
Given this, he raised the question of whether ASEAN will be capable to be the engine for peace and economic growth.
“I am confident that we are certain ASEAN is capable. As long as we hold the key element: ASEAN unity,” he stressed.
ASEAN possess major assets as the epicentrum of growth. An economy that grows far above average global economic growth, demographic bonus, and a maintained regional stability, the President went on.
The Summit takes place from May 9-11 in Indonesia. (Photo: VNA)
He said ASEAN must increase efforts to strengthen economic integration, reinforce inclusive cooperation, including through the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and strengthen regional health architecture, food security, energy resilience, and financial stability.
The Summit, which takes place from May 9-11, features plenary sessions and retreats, along with dialogues between leaders of ASEAN countries and representatives of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC), and the High-Level Task Force on ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision./.