ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh (Source: VNA)
 
Jakarta (VNA) – Norway commits to enhancing and deepening cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as its member countries.

The message was conveyed by new Ambassador of Norway to ASEAN Morten Hoglund while presenting his credentials to ASEAN General Secretary Le Luong Minh at the ASEAN headquarters in Jakarta, Indonesia, on July 21.

The ambassador praised ASEAN’s important role in maintaining peace, security and stability, and spurring economic growth in the region.

ASEAN General Secretary Minh said Norway is the first sectoral dialogue partner of ASEAN to appoint its ambassador to the association, demonstrating the country’s commitment to strengthening its collaboration with the ten-member group.

The same day, the second meeting of the ASEAN-Norway Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee (AN-JSCC) was held under the chair of ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Political-Security Community Hirubalan V P and Ambassador Hoglund.

During the meeting, the two sides reiterated their commitment to intensifying and deepening their bilateral cooperation.

The meeting approved a priority plan for the ASEAN-Norway sectoral partnership – the foundation of comprehensive cooperation between the two sides.

Currently, their affiliation in peace, reconciliation, navigation, energy and connectivity, and the initiative for ASEAN integration (IAI) have been unified.

Other priority cooperation areas include trade and investment development, covering macro, small and medium-sized enterprises, climate change combat, people-to-people exchange, along with educational and cultural exchanges.

The AN-JSCC also approved procedures for the Norwegian-ASEAN Regional Integration Programme (NARIP) in order to ensure the effective implementation of future projects and activities within the framework of the programme.

The participants applauded efforts to consolidate the ASEAN-Norway partnership, which has been reflected through significant progresses of the ongoing activities and projects.

Norway promised to help ASEAN to organise thematic conferences under the sponsorship of the ASEAN Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.

Norway reiterated its support for ASEAN’s centrality in the evolving regional structure and stressed the significance of multilateralism and law-based international order. - VNA