Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc shakes hands with ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 18 received ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and President of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) Hidetoshi Nishimura, who are in Hanoi for a talk on measures to boost intra-bloc links.

The PM hailed contributions of the ASEAN Secretariat, especially those made by ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh.

Among initiatives and cooperative programmes of the bloc, Vietnam is particularly interested in implementing an Initiative for ASEAN Integration and a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, he stressed.  

The group needs to strongly promote its role and strengths, contributing to building a better world, he said, affirming that Vietnam will continue to be a responsible member in realising ASEAN’s common goals as well as in solving challenges in the development process of the group.

ASEAN and Vietnam should work closely in seeking ways to lift the trade turnover between the two sides, he stressed.

The PM affirmed that with many free trade agreements have been signed and some are under negotiations, Vietnam is willing to serve as a bridge for ASEAN, an important market in the region and the world.

He also underlined the importance of the intra-bloc connectivity and expressed his hope that connection among the ASEAN member nations will be maintained and enhanced in order to overcome challenges based on the principle of consensus.

The PM hailed the ERIA’s scientific research outcomes contribute to promoting ASEAN’s development in the context of regional and global integration.

Le Luong Minh said 2017 is important for ASEAN and Vietnam as the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN and 22 years since Vietnam officially joined the bloc will be celebrated.

He praised Vietnam’s efforts in integrating globally, expanding markets, and promoting investment links and people-to-people exchanges.

Vietnam has made active and crucial contributions to building the ASEAN Community, as well as stepping up cooperation between ASEAN and big economies worldwide, he said.

Minh also pointed out difficulties and challenges facing the bloc, saying that the talk themed “ASEAN’s 50 years: ASEAN Economic Community and opportunities for Vietnamese business circle” aims to seek solutions to these.

Meanwhile, ERIA President Hidetoshi Nishimura pledged to continue supporting Vietnam in the process of regional and international integration, towards upholding Vietnam’s role and position in the ASEAN Community.-VNA