25th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting opens in Hanoi hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (sixth from left) and ASEAN transport ministers pose for a photo at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The 25th ASEAN Transport Ministers’ Meeting (ATM) and associated meetings with dialogue partners kicked off in Hanoi on November 14, attracting about 250 Vietnamese and foreign delegates.

Opening the event, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become one of the most successful regional organisations in the world. With a combined population of over 640 million and an economy worth nearly 3 trillion USD in 2018, ASEAN is currently the third biggest economy in Asia and the sixth largest in the world.

Its member countries are striving to build the ASEAN Economic Community. In that process, the bloc always considers connectivity and integration as part of the top priorities in building the community so as to capitalise on the advantages of a dynamic and potential region. To achieve this, enhancing transport connectivity is of critical importance, he noted.

He said Vietnam, with a favourable location on transport routes linking Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and other regions in the Asia-Pacific, has been working hard to develop transport infrastructure, which has given a facelift to the country and enhanced connectivity among its regions as well as between Vietnam and the world.

The Deputy PM added that in 2020, Vietnam will mark 25 years of its ASEAN membership and hold the bloc’s chairmanship. As the ASEAN Chair, it pledges to continue making substantive contributions to the building and development of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN Community towards an ASEAN of peace, stability and prosperity.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport, this year’s ATM and associated meetings, scheduled to last through November 15, will focus on the completion of procedures for signing governmental-level multilateral documents to strengthen transport connectivity in ASEAN and between ASEAN and the partner countries of Japan, the Republic of Korea and China.

They will listen to reports on the implementation of programmes and projects within the framework of the Kuala Lumpur Transport Strategic Plan for 2016-2025. They will also approve projects, plans and programmes on ASEAN transport cooperation for 2020.

Besides, the member countries will discuss ways to bolster transport links, especially in aviation, with dialogue partners, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the European Union and the US-ASEAN Business Council.

Earlier, the 48th Senior Transport Officials’ Meeting and related meetings took place in Hanoi from November 11 to 13./.