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Commencement ceremony for ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 held

Released at: 14:23, 07/01/2020

Commencement ceremony for ASEAN Chairmanship 2020 held

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the event (Photo: Vietnam & The World Newspaper)

PM addresses ceremony on January 6 in Hanoi.

by Jessica Nguyen

On the afternoon of January 6 in Hanoi, addressing the “Kick-off Ceremony of ASEAN Chairmanship 2020”, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed that Vietnam will do its best to cooperate with other countries and has introduced the key priorities of ASEAN 2020 as a practical contribution to a brighter future for the bloc.

Prime Minister Phuc emphasized that in a quarter of a century of involvement with ASEAN, Vietnam has always been active and participated responsibly in order to leave many important imprints.

Vietnam is honored to undertake major responsibilities regionally and internationally in 2020, including the role of ASEAN Chair. “This is an opportunity for Vietnam to contribute substantially to the development of the ASEAN Community,” the Prime Minister said.

From a region with divisions and differences, he went on, today ASEAN is an independent community of solidarity, with a population of 650 million people and is the third-largest bloc in the world. ASEAN is also a dynamically-developing economy, with a GDP of $2.95 trillion in 2018, ranking it fifth globally. It has signed six free trade agreements with the world’s top seven partners and firmly given itself a central role in the regional structure, receiving cooperation from major countries and partners from all over the world.

In the context of fierce competition and unpredictable regional and global fluctuations, ASEAN is trying to take advantage of opportunities and effectively respond to challenges, of which cohesion and proactive adaptation are important methods.

“In its 50 years, the motto of ‘a united, closely linked ASEAN to build up a stronger community’ has helped ASEAN overcome many challenges and develop sustainably,” he said. “ASEAN is playing a central role in the region. It is also open to new ideas and creative businesses and is an attractive investment destination.”

As Chairman of ASEAN in 2020, the Prime Minister said Vietnam will expend efforts to promote the achievements of its predecessors in order to join other members in setting development orientations for the ASEAN Community to 2025 and beyond.

The Prime Minister also affirmed that, firstly, peace and stability, solidarity and unity, prosperity, and sustainability will continue to be the goals of ASEAN.

Secondly, ASEAN will effectively connect with nations and deeply integrate with the world based on its creativity and stability and will develop in harmony with the spread of Industry 4.0.

Thirdly, the ASEAN Community will enhance its ability to adapt and effectively handle the impacts of natural disasters, climate change, pollution, and plastic waste, etc., ensuring the community continues to be a livable area with smart city networks, secure social security systems, advanced educational systems, and high-quality human resources in the digital age.

Fourthly, based on underlying documents, ASEAN governments will work on the basis of science, professionalism, efficiency, and dynamism, making an increasingly positive contribution to the ASEAN Community and the ASEAN people.

The Prime Minister said that in order to realize these goals and create a bright future together, each member and each citizen of ASEAN needs to make every effort to build the ASEAN Community.

“Let’s think and act together for the community and share community values,” he said. “No connection is stronger than connecting heart to heart. To every citizen of the ASEAN Community, I say let’s do our best to take ASEAN forward while always retaining an ‘ASEAN spirit’ in our hearts.”

ASEAN 2020 has set out five priorities: Enhancing the bloc’s performance of its role and contribution to the maintenance of regional peace, security and stability; Boosting connectivity and improving the capacity of adapting to and capitalizing on Industrial 4.0; Promoting awareness of the ASEAN Community and its identities to create common values for the bloc; Reinforcing partnerships for peace and sustainable development with countries around the world, and; Improving ASEAN’s adaptability and efficiency by reforming institutions and improving its operations.

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