Enhancing the building of a united and strong ASEAN Community

Friday, 2017-04-28 07:28:03
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his wife (Image for illustration/Credit: VGP)
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NDO – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his wife and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation on April 28 departed Hanoi for Manila, the capital of the Philippines, to attend the 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings at the invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

This is the first summit during the Philippines’ ASEAN presidency this year. It takes place as member countries are building the ASEAN Community with a focus on realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 in order to deepen regional connectivity as well as strengthen cohesion and common identity, on the basis of objectives and principles of the ASEAN Charter.

The establishment of the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015 marked a historic milestone throughout nearly 50 years of formation and development of ASEAN, opening up a new stage of development for the Association. The ASEAN Community, consisting of more than 625 million people, is the seventh largest economy in the world with GDP reaching US$2.6 trillion and a culturally-diverse community rich in ethnic identity and tradition. The bloc is expected to see its GDP grow by 7.1% and create 14 million jobs over the next ten years, aiming to make one of the most successful regional cooperation organisations become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2050.

The Community’s formation not only is meaningful for the governments of ASEAN countries but also brings about practical benefits for the people. Despite obstacles caused by the fluctuations of the world and regional situation, ASEAN countries are continuing to gain achievements and make efforts to build the ASEAN Community, establishing a people-oriented, people-centred, rule-based, united and strong ASEAN Community. The countries emphasised that solidarity and consensus are the keys to successfully building the ASEAN Community.

Entering a new stage of development with high determination and efforts from member countries, ASEAN has made a good start, reaping encouraging results in the first year of the Community and implementing its 2025 Vision. The security of the region and each member country was fundamentally stable; the ASEAN economy continued to grow in 2016 with GDP averaging 4.5% and expected to reach 4.6% in 2017. Cooperation in social and cultural sectors and other areas has been promoted. ASEAN continues to affirm its role as the nucleus of the dialogue and cooperation for peace and stability in the region on the basis of efforts to consolidate solidarity, as well as promote its central role in shaping the regional structure and in response to challenges and emerging complicated situations.

Dialogue partners affirmed that they respect and support ASEAN in building its Community and playing a central role in the region as well as committed themselves to help and jointly work with ASEAN to set out measures to effectively implement common action plans. Currently, there are nearly 90 partners which have nominated ambassadors to the ASEAN Secretariat's headquarters and 50 ASEAN committees have been established in many countries around the world.

During the 30th ASEAN Summit, themed “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”, ASEAN leaders will discuss and decide on measures to implement the building of the Community and enhancing the association’s role on issues related to the security and development of the region in the new situation as well as exchange regional and international issues of mutual concern.

Since joining ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has fully and deeply participated in cooperation activities in the fields of politics, security, economy, culture, society and foreign affairs; and strictly implemented commitments and agreements, contributing to the realisation of the ASEAN Community.

With the motto of working proactively, actively and responsibly, Vietnam is always willing to join efforts with member countries to contribute to successfully building the Community, towards a peaceful, stable, cooperative and prosperous region.

The attendance of PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Vietnamese delegation to this year’s summit in Manila aims to contribute to promoting close connectivity and effective operation among ASEAN members as well as strengthening the solidarity, unity and central role of ASEAN in the face of complicated developments in the current world situation. The event is also expected to promote cooperation activities to bring about practical benefits to people and narrow the development gap as well as continue to enhance the relations between Vietnam and other ASEAN members.

It is believed that the 30th ASEAN Summit will be successful, consolidating the solidarity and unity and enhancing the cooperation and connectivity among ASEAN countries, creating clearer changes in the process of building a united and closely linked ASEAN Community, and bringing common benefits to all member countries and the entire region.