PM Phuc imparts message of unity, partnership at ASEAN summit

By Anh Ngoc   June 23, 2019 | 12:09 am PT
PM Phuc imparts message of unity, partnership at ASEAN summit
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, June 22, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc says ASEAN needs to strengthen solidarity at a time of when there is considerable instability in the world.

Addressing the 34th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday, Phuc said ASEAN should prioritize the strengthening of unity, boost economic ties between members, and enhance the ability and capabilities to face challenges and take advantage of opportunities thrown up by the Industry 4.0 era.

He requested the bloc members to continue expanding cooperation in different fields, bringing benefits for the people and improving the effectiveness of the association’s operating system.

The two-day summit ending Sunday has adopted the theme of "Advancing Partnership for Sustainability." Leaders of the bloc discussed the relationship between ASEAN and its partners, as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern.

ASEAN leaders affirmed the importance of maintaining stability and security based on the principles of Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), guaranteeing the central roles of ASEAN, focusing on the ASEAN Indo-Pacific outlook and dealing with transnational security challenges.

They also agreed on the need to push trade, economic connectivity and preparing for the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). They also concurred on the need to further negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a proposed free trade agreement between the 10 ASEAN members -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam -- and the six Asia-Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

The summit also decided to choose 2019 as the ASEAN Cultural Year to increase cultural exchanges between member countries.

Several important documents were approved at the summit to serve as foundation for ASEAN cooperation for the future. These included the ASEAN Leaders' Vision Statement on "Partnership for Sustainability", the Bangkok Declaration on Combating Marine Debris in the Region and ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019.

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