06:00 | 15/02/2021 EVFTA
(VEN) - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh spoke with the media about Vietnam’s increasingly active roles on the regional and international stage.
Last year brought unprecedented change, but Vietnam’s external activities were implemented effectively in both bilateral and multilateral respects. Could you highlight Vietnam’s achievements in 2020?
2020 was a special year with the regional and global situation changing quickly and the Covid-19 pandemic affecting all aspects of life. Under the leadership of the party, the entire political system fully fulfilled the dual task of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining a stable environment for socioeconomic development. External activities were implemented effectively in both bilateral and multilateral respects. Vietnamese leaders conducted more than 33 phone talks with leaders of various countries to discuss strengthening relations.
Vietnam successfully performed the roles of ASEAN Chair 2020, Chair of the 41st ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.
The country also saw progress in international economic integration with the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and a free trade agreement with the UK.
The protection of Vietnamese citizens abroad was ensured by providing flights to safely bring home Vietnamese citizens from countries and territories worldwide.
What were Vietnam’s imprints as ASEAN Chair 2020?
According to the assessment of the international community, ASEAN countries and public opinion, Vietnam performed remarkably well its role as ASEAN Chair 2020. The country put forward 32 initiatives and 28 of them were written into documents.
ASEAN was one of the few regional organizations quickly adapting to the new normal. Vietnam, as ASEAN Chair 2020, organized special meetings on Covid-19 within ASEAN and between ASEAN and partners, and achieved four major targets - setting up an ASEAN fund for Covid-19 response, developing a regional reserve for medical supplies, devising plans to deal with the pandemic, and providing a post-pandemic recovery framework.
Vietnam changed the mode of meeting and working, with more than 550 meetings going online. The change was accomplished quickly and efficiently to make sure of achieving the political-security, economic and cultural-social agenda.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the opening ceremony of the 36th ASEAN Summit|
What are Vietnam’s 2021 foreign relations priorities?
The regional and global situation will see more volatile changes. Therefore, Vietnam will continue to consolidate and deepen its ties with other nations, especially neighboring countries and strategic and comprehensive partners.
The country will pursue further international integration in its capacity on the UN Security Council. Within ASEAN, Vietnam will strive to promote the agenda of the Chairmanship Year 2020.
With the implementation of free trade agreements and the further signing of new trade deals, Vietnam needs to perform in an effective manner in order to make good use of incentives offered by these deals.
The highest priority remains upholding a peaceful and stable environment, and protecting independence and sovereignty over islands and sea.
Recorded by Thu Phuong