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Vietnam Today

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends 30th ASEAN Summit

Released at: 21:29, 29/04/2017

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends 30th ASEAN Summit

Photo: VGP

ASEAN needs to pay more attention to people-connected projects, provide more cross-border career opportunities and promote cultural exchanges and tourism, says PM Phuc.

by Nguyen Quoc

The 30th Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the first summit in the year the Philippines holds the chair of the grouping,  opened in Manila on April 29 under the chairmanship of Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, and  with the attendance of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and leaders of other ASEAN member nations, the Vietnam News Agency reports.

In his opening remarks, President Rodrigo Duterte highlighted the significance of this year - a milestone year for ASEAN as the bloc marks its 50th anniversary of establishment.

The President underlined the core priorities of the Philippines’ chairmanship, which are building a people-oriented and people-centred ASEAN, maintaining a peaceful and stable region, cooperating in maritime security  and advancing inclusive and innovative-led growth, promoting ASEAN’s resiliency, and promoting ASEAN as a model for regionalism and as a global player.

He then chaired the summit plenary that focused its discussion on how to strengthen ASEAN connectivity and effectively implement the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the master plans for the ASEAN Community pillars.

Speaking at the event, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc voiced support for the priorities for cooperation initiated by the Philippines as this year’s chair, saying they are practical, reflecting the need for connectivity within the bloc and promoting ASEAN as a global player.

Mr. Phuc hailed the progress in implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and said the grouping should give priority to building a people-oriented and people-centred ASEAN, enhancing the effectiveness of ASEAN operations and promoting intra-group cooperation and regional connectivity.

He underlined that to win support of people across the region in building the ASEAN Community, the bloc needs to pay more attention to people-connected projects, provide more cross-border career opportunities and promote cultural exchanges and tourism, so that the people can benefit more from the ASEAN integration process.

Mr. Phuc noted  the fact that there has been a rapid growth in trade between ASEAN and its partners but trade within ASEAN has barely budged over the past few years. Therefore, it is necessary to accelerate intra-bloc cooperation in order to take full advantages of a 620-million-people market, he added.

The Vietnamese government leader urged the quick finalization of an action plan for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) development strategy for 2016-2025, as SMEs accounted for over 90 percent of the number of firms in Southeast Asia. More resources should be allocated for startups and innovative projects together with support for them to access funding and markets, he noted.

Vietnam will partner with Thailand to take a leading role in improving productivity and promoting technology, creativity and innovation.

Later, in his speech at the retreat meeting in the framework of the 30th ASEAN Summit ASEAN, PM Nguyen Xuan stressed that ASEAN member states need to uphold their responsibility and the community’s spirit, especially a common stance, on international and regional issues, towards increasing the bloc’s position in the international arena.

He urged ASEAN to lead the way in abiding by international law and basic principles of international relations, in line with its goal to build a rule-based community. 

The Vietnamese Government leader also called for more efforts from the group to improve the effectiveness of cooperation with its partners and intra-bloc dialogue mechanisms, with a focus on result-oriented activities. 

Mr. Phuc shared the common concern about recent developments in the international and regional situation, which left multi-dimensional impacts on ASEAN and each member nations.  

He stressed that the challenges are also an opportunity for ASEAN to prove its capacity and  central role in addressing regional issues.

The PM also expressed concern about the escalation of tension in the Korean Peninsula, the East Sea, the East China Sea, and recent terrorist attacks in European countries, while applauding joint efforts of ASEAN in tackling both traditional and non-conventional security challenges. 

ASEAN should promote the basic principles and common stance on solving disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS 1982), he said. 

He called on parties to exercise restraint, not to use or threat to use force, and respect legal and diplomatic processes, while fully and strictly implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and working towards an early formulation of an effective and feasible Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), contributing to maintaining peace, stability, security, aviation and navigation safety in the waters. 

At the retreat meeting,  ASEAN leaders welcomed the progresses in the relations between ASEAN and its outside partners, reflected in the outcomes of the implementation of Action Plans between ASEAN and its Dialogue partners.

They noted that more regional nations and organisations wish to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN, and the bloc’s role in ASEAN-established mechanisms is valued and respected.

The leaders gave instructions on the organisation of activities celebrating important anniversaries with the bloc’s key partners, such as the 40th anniversary of cooperative relations with the US, Canada, EU, and the 25th anniversary of ASEAN – India relations. They said the celebrations are opportunities to create new impetuses for the relations between ASEAN and its partners.

The meeting underlined the importance of maintaining the central role of ASEAN in the forming regional structure, improving the efficiency of ASEAN-led regional cooperation mechanisms and forums, and enhancing the bloc’s capability in addressing global and regional issues.

Regarding regional and international situation, the ASEAN leaders expressed their concerns over the complicated developments, such as the tension related to the Korean Peninsula, militarisation activities in the East Sea, and spreading terrorism threats.

They agreed that ASEAN needs to develop a strong common voice and bring into play its role, thus contributing to the joint efforts to maintain peace, security and stability in the region and the world.

The ASEAN nations’ leaders welcomed the timely issue of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Joint Statement on the bloc’s stance on the tension in the Korean Peninsula, calling on all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint in order to de-escalate the situation and resume negotiations.

They also reiterated the need to push for the completion of a framework for a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea by mid-year, creating the conditions for the early formulation of an effective COC.

ASEAN leaders then signed the ASEAN Declaration on the role of the civil service as the catalyst to achieve the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

The 30th ASEAN Summit closed with a ceremony at 16:40 pm (local time) on the same day.

Earlier, on April 28, PM Nguy​en Xu​an Ph​uc met with his Malaysian counterpart, Mr. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, after arriving in Manila for the 30th ASEAN summit.

The two leaders expressed their pleasure at the development of the strategic partnership between the two countries and agreed to foster multifaceted cooperation.

They also committed to expand bilateral trade to $20 billion in 2020 from the current $11 billion.

Responding to PM  Phuc’s request, PM Najib Razak said Malaysia will foster cooperation in halal food production and consider hiring more Vietnamese workers in areas where there is demand for such labour.

The two leaders  were unanimous in maintaining consultation and close collaboration on building a united ASEAN and promoting the central role of ASEAN in tackling regional strategic issues, especially the East Sea issue.

The two sides stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and safety of maritime navigation and aviation, and agreed that disputes should be solved through peaceful means, on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other diplomatic and legal processes. They said they will also work closely towards a legally binding Code of Conduct for all involved parties in the East Sea.

On the same day,  PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a meeting with Myanmar state counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi in Manila.

The Myanmar leader said she was inspired by Vietnam’s achievements in building and developing the country.

The two leaders agreed that Vietnam and Myanmar should continue negotiations toward the signing of cooperation agreements in trade, investment, transport, finance, justice, education, telecoms and particularly agriculture and national defence.

The Myanmar side pledged to create all favourable conditions for Vietnam’s investment and trade activities in the country.

The two sides committed to increasing coordination to promote ASEAN’s central role, stressing that unity and solidarity within the bloc are the prerequisite for a strong ASEAN Community.

They shared the view that disputes should be addressed through peaceful means based on international law and called for an early finalisation of a Code of Conduct for the East Sea.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Brunei Sultan  Haji Hassanal Bolkiah agreed to further enhance bilateral partnership in trade, industry, agriculture and tourism at their meeting on April 29. 

During the meeting held on the sidelines of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila,  the two leaders expressed their delight at the progress of the traditional relations and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Brunei.

They agreed to continue exchanges of high-level delegations and work together to improve operation of the Vietnam-Brunei Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, the two countries’ joint naval working group and other bilateral cooperation mechanisms.

PM Phuc hoped Brunei will promote investment in Vietnam, particularly in the fields of infrastructure development, energy, food processing for export, and oil and gas exploitation.

He also asked Bruinei to offer favourable conditions to Vietnamese investors to do business in oil and gas services, halal food and farming products in Brunei. 

 

 

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