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Jan 07, 2020 / 11:49

Cohesion and responsiveness: Key for ASEAN to capitalize on opportunities

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said cohesion and responsiveness shall be the key to realize the bloc's goals.

Against the backdrop of fierce competition and unpredictable changes in the region and the world, ASEAN needs to fully capitalize on these opportunities and effectively adapt to emerging challenges. To this end, cohesion and responsiveness shall be the key to realize the bloc's goals, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said as the country begins the ASEAN Chairmanship.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the meeting. Photo: Baodautu 

Working in cohesion, unity, and solidarity, the bloc has overcome all challenges and achieved sustainable development over the past 50 years. This, furthermore, lays the foundation for ASEAN to assert its centrality in the region, its position as a huge market for innovative start-ups, and an attractive destination for global investors, Phuc said at a meeting on January 6.

With the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”, ASEAN 2020 is supported by the five priorities for 2020 which are also identified as the bloc’s long-term goals, including (i) to actively contribute to a regional environment of peace, security, and stability; (ii) to bring prosperity through regional integration and connectivity, heighten ASEAN’s adaptability to Industry 4.0 to grasp opportunities; (iii) to raise the awareness of ASEAN Community and Identity; (iv) to strengthen partnerships for peace and sustainable development, and promote ASEAN’s role and contribution in the international community; and (v) to enhance the capacity and efficiency of ASEAN.

Heads of the government attend the meeting on January. Photo: VNA 

As the ASEAN 2020 Chair, Vietnam will work with fellow members in identifying future directions for the ASEAN Community until 2025 and beyond. In this connection, following aspects should be focused in the year.

First, peace, stability, solidarity, unity, prosperity, and sustainability remain the purpose, identity, and overarching goal of the ASEAN Community. These values pave the way for ASEAN to build a new image, new standing, and new role in making active and responsible contributions to global cooperation and agendas.

Second, the ASEAN Community will foster seamless connectivity and deepen integration within and beyond the region, on the basis of innovation, stability and the growing influence of the 4th Industrial Revolution (I4).

Third, the ASEAN Community will become more resilient through effective climate change adaptation and response, and better management of natural disasters, pollution and plastic waste. It will become a liveable place, with a burgeoning network of smart cities and strong social welfare. It will possess a high-quality workforce for sustainable development, creating equal opportunities for all, so as to leave no one behind.

Fourth, its fundamental documents enable the organs of ASEAN Community to maintain sensible, effective, and vigorous operation and better serve the ASEAN Community and its people.

To realize these goals and foster our future together, each member and every citizen needs to make every effort to contribute to the common works of ASEAN, Phuc said in a statement.

“Let our efforts take ASEAN far and wide, and at the same keep ASEAN close to our hearts,” the Vietnamese PM noted.