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Nov 11, 2022 / 22:15

Vietnamese PM attends ASEAN Summits with main partners

The parties concurred to support ASEAN's role and initiatives in fostering dialogue, reconciliation, and solutions for Myanmar.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders convene with their counterparts of China, Japan, and South Korea during the summits between ASEAN and its major partners in Phnom Penh on November 11.

At the summits, leaders of ASEAN member states and partners reviewed and set orientations for further development, committed to working together to promote dialogue, cooperation and effective response to challenges, contributing to shaping an open, inclusive and transparent regional architecture that upholds international law and highlights ASEAN Centrality.

Leaders of ASEAN member states and China's Premier Li Keqiang at the summit in Phnom Penh on Nov 11. Photos: VGP  

At the 25th ASEAN–China Summit, ASEAN leaders and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang highly appreciated the establishment of the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership by the end of 2021 as an essential milestone in the two sides’ relationship.

Speaking at the summit, PM Chinh suggested the two sides work together to promote trade with China’s open the door to goods and farm produce from Vietnam and ASEAN nations transit through Vietnam. In addition, China should facilitate customs clearance of goods and diversify modes of freight transport by road, rail, sea, and air, maintaining stable supply and production chains.

At the same time, ASEAN and China need to work together to ensure a recovery towards sustainable development, including further cooperation on green growth, environmental protection, and climate response, among others.

Li Keqiang emphasized that ASEAN is a high priority in its neighboring policy, reaffirming respect for ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture. He believed that the newly-established comprehensive framework continues to support the building of the ASEAN Community and promote its role in regional and international forums.

ASEAN and China continue to be each other’s leading trade partners, with two-way trade reaching US$669 billion in 2021. China’s foreign direct investment (FDI) in ASEAN hit US$13.6 billion in the same year.

The two sides agreed to boost cooperation for sustainable supply chains and upgrade the ASEAN–China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) while taking full advantage of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for more effective implementation.

Meanwhile, ASEAN asked China to expand cooperation in digital transformation, climate response, energy transition, and green growth with efforts to narrow the development gap, mainly in the Mekong Sub-region.

The summit concluded with the announcement to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), the Joint Statement on sustainable development, and the Joint Statement on cooperation for food security.

 Leaders of ASEAN member states and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol at the summit in Phnom Penh on Nov 11.

At the 23rd ASEAN-South Korea Summit, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol affirmed that the East Asian nation attaches great importance to relations with ASEAN, one of its most important partners, and supports ASEAN’s central role in regional architecture.

He introduced South Korea’s Indo-Pacific strategy and wished to work with ASEAN to implement the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) through practical cooperation programs.

The Vietnamese PM spoke on ASEAN’s behalf as the coordinating country of the ASEAN-South Korea relations highly appreciated the comprehensive relations and supported South Korea’s strategies for an extensive relationship with ASEAN.

Chinh suggested further cooperation for complete economic recovery focusing on healthcare, tourism, digital transformation, green growth, people-to-people ties, and securing good conditions for people working in South Korea and regional countries.

He highlighted the role of trade, investment, and supply chain with South Korea’s facilitation of businesses and export items from ASEAN and boosted cooperation for the Mekong Sub-region through the Mekong-South Korea Partnership. At the same time, he called for further dialogues against threats to regional security, mainly in the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula.

The two sides agreed to cooperate in combating non-traditional security challenges while boosting trade, tourism, education, cultural exchange, and green growth to elevate the relations in the coming time.

Currently, South Korea is ASEAN’s 5th biggest trade partner and investor. In 2021, the two-way trade was $189.5 billion, and South Korea’s investment in the 10-member bloc reached $7.1 billion. The people-to-people links have been tightened with dozens of thousands of ASEAN people living, studying, and working in South Korea while ASEAN nations have become the favorite destinations of South Koreans.

At the ASEAN-UN Summit, leaders of ASEAN and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed the importance of sharing vision, boosting multilateralism, and rules-based approach.

Leaders of ASEAN member states and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the summit.