Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Representative delegation to ASEAN (Photo: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) – The birth of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year is expected to bring a number of pragmatic benefits to member countries and their people, Vietnam’s Ambassador to ASEAN has said.

In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency’s correspondents in Indonesia, Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, Head of the Vietnamese Permanent Representative delegation to ASEAN, said the establishment of the community is a continuous process; hence, ASEAN leaders have adopted the ASEAN Vision 2025 to map out a plan for regional development in the next 10 years.

He said it may be too soon to talk about the ASEAN Community in 2025 but basically this could be envisaged as a following step of the association building on its current achievements.

In the new context of the region and the world, the main orientations for ASEAN are to increase connectivity within the bloc and its cooperation with partners; strengthen legal factors in ASEAN’s activities; and facilitate people’s involvement in building and implementing ASEAN’s policies, at the same time benefiting more from the engagement.

The grouping will work to enhance its self-reliance to cope with extraordinary changes and challenges while strengthening and raising the bloc’s status in regional and global arenas, and increasing the central role of ASEAN in the region, the Ambassador said.

According to the diplomat, besides major opportunities, the ASEAN Community will also bring challenges for businesses and people of ASEAN member countries, one of which is to enhance public awareness of the community.

It is the businesses and the people who will engage in and carry out plans of the ASEAN Community, so only when they are fully aware of the benefits and challenges can they seize the opportunities and deal effectively with the rising issues.

The ambassador said ASEAN policy makers are pushing ahead with raising public awareness of ASEAN Community and this will be one of the priorities in the immediate future.

One of the key tasks of the bloc in the coming years is to improve ASEAN institutional capacity, he said, noting that as 2016 will be the first year for ASEAN to carry out the ASEAN Vision to 2025, ASEAN’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (CPR) will focus on building, examining, and promoting the implementation of programmes and measures to realise the vision.

The CPR is also responsible for improving the capacity and operation of ASEAN agencies, including the ASEAN Secretariat, to meet requirements in the new integration period.

The Vietnamese Permanent Representative delegation to ASEAN will actively work in its role as an information provider and support agencies, organisations, and individuals who want to participate in the bloc’s activities, especially cooperation programmes and projects./.