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Feb 10, 2022 / 18:15

Vietnam to co-chair OECD Southeast Asia Program 2022-2025

OECD is expected to extend support to ASEAN in digital transformation in the coming years.

Vietnam, together with Australia, will co-chair the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s Southeast Asia Regional Program (SEARP) in 2022-2025.

 Vietnam and Australia will cochair OECD SEARP in 2022-2025. Photos: VNA

The chairmanship was handed over from South Korea and Thailand at the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Program Ministerial Meeting, which was held in Seoul on February 9-10.

Speaking at the meeting, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son proposed three ranges of issues for the cooperation of OECD and ASEAN in the coming time.

Accordingly, OECD is expected to support ASEAN member states in digital transformation. OECD and ASEAN should make policies on smart governance, digital government, e-commerce, and cybersecurity.

The Vietnamese FM expected that OECD will intensify support to the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), the ASEAN Consolidated Strategy on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4.0), and ASEAN’s Strategy on Accelerating Inclusive Digital Transformation by 2025, and other action plans on digital transformation.

In this regard, the strategies on digital transformation are aimed to benefit all people with a focus on training manpower, assisting micro-, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and boosting the public-private partnership (PPP).

In addition, OECD would extend assistance to ASEAN’s journey to less carbon growth to help the regional states materialize their commitments to sustainable development.

On this occasion, Son hoped that OECD and regional countries will support Vietnam in its green growth strategy and digital economy that is expected to contribute 20% of its gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

 Vietnam's Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son at the meeting in South Korea on Feb 9.

Cooperation between OECD and ASEAN

At the meeting attended by 38 ministers and high-ranking officials of OECD, ASEAN, and related organizations, South Korea’s Foreign Minister Chung Eui-Yong said the country will continue to strengthen cooperation with ASEAN to contribute to building a greener, smarter, and more inclusive ASEAN.         

OECD’s Secretary-General Mathias Cormann affirmed that ASEAN is a strategic priority area that OECD will promote cooperation with and support ASEAN members in economic reform, cohesion, and closer proximity to OECD standards.

At the event, attendants witnessed the signing of the ASEAN-OECD Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that covers 31 areas of cooperation, creating an important framework for enhancing the partnership in the coming time.

The ministers also conducted two important discussion sessions on “Building a Smarter ASEAN for an Inclusive Future” and “Ensuring Green Recovery towards More Resilient ASEAN.”

They agreed on many cooperation programs on promoting digital transformation, smart city development, e-commerce, support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and tourism recovery.