ASEAN, Australia look toward stronger partnership

Thursday, 2020-09-10 21:33:26
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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh speaks at the meeting. (Photo: HNM)
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NDO/VNA – Participants to the virtual ASEAN-Australia Ministerial Meeting on September 10 shared the view that the ASEAN-Australia dialogue relationship has made strong progress since its establishment in 1974, and positively contributed to regional peace and stability.

At the event, held within the framework of the 53rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-53), the foreign ministers of both sides held that ASEAN-Australia cooperation has significantly contributed to realising the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, including the Blueprints of the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, the Work Plan of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) phase III and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025.

Australia is currently ASEAN's seventh largest trade partner while ASEAN is Australia's third largest trade partner. ASEAN is preparing for negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), thus bringing more practical benefits to the business community and stakeholders. Notably, in recent years, Australia has always been one of the top destinations chosen by ASEAN students.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh welcomed Australia's assistance to ASEAN countries in promoting regional health security, economic recovery and stability, including the aid package of AUD23 million.

He appreciated Australia's support for ASEAN's efforts to ensure peace, security, stability and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea/ South China Sea.

The Vietnamese official reiterated ASEAN's principled stance and asked the parties to uphold restraint, refrain from the acts that further complicate the situation and from militarisation and settle disputes through peaceful measures.

At the end of the meeting, the ministers approved the new Plan of Action (2020-2024) to further deepen the ASEAN-Australia Strategic Partnership. The two sides agreed to hold the annual ASEAN-Australia Summit, starting from 2021.