08:50 | 16/02/2020 Vietnam - Asean
(VEN) - Vietnam views its 2020 leadership of the 11-nation ASEAN bloc as an opportunity to contribute to the development of Southeast Asia and the welfare of the 650 million people who call the region home. That was the message conveyed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on January 6 in Hanoi, where he addressed the launch ceremony of the ASEAN 2020 Chairmanship Year and website www.asean2020.vn.
Previously a region of strife and differences, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become a united group of independent countries, enjoying great progress and growth. The grouping is the third most dynamic economy in the world, boasting total gross domestic product of US$2.95 trillion in 2018. ASEAN has signed six free trade agreements (FTA) with seven top partners in the world, reinforcing its centrality in the regional architecture.
These achievements have earned ASEAN the recognition of major powers and partners.
As the ASEAN 2020 Chair, guided by its chosen theme “Responsive and Cohesive”, Vietnam will build on the achievements and efforts of previous ASEAN Chairs and work with fellow members to identify the future directions for the ASEAN Community until 2025 and beyond, Phuc said.
The Vietnamese government leader said that peace, stability, solidarity, unity, prosperity and sustainability would remain the purpose, identity and overarching goal of the ASEAN Community. These values pave the way for ASEAN to forge a new image and new role in making responsible contributions to dialogue and cooperation at the global level.
Secondly, the ASEAN Community will foster connectivity and deepen integration within and beyond the region, based on innovation, stability and the growing influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The ASEAN Community will aim to be a model of the circular economy, endowed with new vigor.
Thirdly, the ASEAN Community hopes to become more resilient through effective climate change adaptation and response, and better management of natural disasters, pollution and plastic waste. It also aims to become more habitable, with a burgeoning network of smart cities and strong social welfare, a high-quality workforce for the digital era produced by quality educational system and strategies for sustainable development and equal opportunity for all.
Fourthly, its fundamental documents enable the organs of the ASEAN Community to maintain effective operation and better serve the people.
To realize these aspirations, the prime minister called on each member and every citizen to make every effort to contribute to the common ASEAN goals. “Let us think community, act community, and share the community values. There are no ties more enduring than those connecting our hearts. Let our efforts take ASEAN far and wide, and at the same time, keep ASEAN close to our hearts,” he said.
Thu Hang & Ba Cuong