Vietnam sees ASEAN as cornerstone in its multilateral diplomacy

08:38 | 25/12/2018 Vietnam - Asean

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has affirmed that Vietnam always sees the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a priority partner and a cornerstone in its multilateral diplomacy, during a ceremony to introduce the National ASEAN 2020 Committee in Hanoi on December 24.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the event - Photo: VGP

The establishment of the committee, which is headed by Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, aims to make preparations for Vietnam to shoulder the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.

Addressing the event, PM Phuc stated that, after over five decades of establishment and development, ASEAN has succeeded in building a common house, the ASEAN Community, for roughly 630 million Southeast Asian people, with three major pillars: Politics-Security, Economy, and Culture-Society.

ASEAN’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2018 has grown around 5.1% to reach approximately US$3 trillion, making the bloc the sixth largest economy in the world. ASEAN has signed six free trade agreements (FTA) with seven leading trading partners globally. As many as 91 countries have sent ambassadors to ASEAN so far, while thirty-seven nations have joined the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

The leader stressed that the annual ASEAN Summit meetings have become important international events with the participation of many heads of state, leaders of partner countries and world-leading powers.

2020 marks the 25-year journey of Vietnam to become a member of the ASEAN “grand family”, he said, stating that each success of ASEAN over the past years has recorded significant contributions of Vietnam – an active, proactive and responsible member, which always joined hands with the other member countries in strengthening solidarity and developing an increasingly strong ASEAN, towards the successful construction of the ASEAN Community.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc poses with members of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee - Photo: VGP

Vietnam wishes to continue making more pragmatic contributions to the process of building and developing a self-reliant and creative ASEAN Community, moving towards the facilitation of a harmonious, cohesive, highly adaptive and increasingly prosperous ASEAN with an important role and a high sense of responsibility in resolving global issues, PM Phuc affirmed.

The leader stressed the significance of the successful organisation of the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship year in enabling ASEAN to make mid-term assessments and decide on the next steps in the remaining path towards fulfilling the goal of building the ASEAN Community 2025.

The launch of the National ASEAN 2020 Committee reflects Vietnam’s proactivity with its 2020 ASEAN Chair responsibilities, as well as showing an urgent and serious spirit for a big external relations event of the country, he said.

The PM called for joint efforts to organise the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship year with comprehensive results and three big successes: success in contents; success in ensuring security, safety and respectful protocol; and success in advertising the image of the Vietnamese identity, culture and people in the developed and prosperous ASEAN Community.

Immediately after the debut ceremony, the National ASEAN 2020 Committee convened its first meeting under the chair of Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh. During the session, the chairman of the committee assigned specific tasks to the members in order to implement the PM’s instructions.

Theo NDO