Participants in the first meeting of the Lead Implementing Body for Sustainable Infrastructure of ASEAN on March 14 (Photo: asean.org)

Jakarta (VNA) – Officials of the ASEAN countries discussed ways to enhance infrastructure connectivity and development in the region at meetings held in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 14 and 15.

Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, head of the Vietnam permanent mission to ASEAN, led the Vietnamese delegation to the meeting of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordination Committee (ACCC), the meeting of the Lead Implementing Body for Sustainable Infrastructure (LIB-SI), and a consultation between the ACCC and the LIB-SI.

Reviewing the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, ACCC members recognised the synchronous implementation in all fields. They highly valued the ACCC’s efforts in 2017 to popularise the content of the MPAC 2025 to all specialised agencies, partner countries, international and regional organisations, financial institutions, businesses and people. 

The meeting also appreciated the ACCC’s moves to consolidate the apparatus and coordination mechanisms, set up national lead implementing bodies, and initially succeed in mobilising necessary resources to carry out initiatives in the MPAC 2025.

To ensure effective implementation, the ACCC agreed to build short-term (one year) and long-term (three years) plans to carry out the MPAC 2025. The countries agreed to promote the implementation of the projects within the framework of the 15 initiatives in the MPAC, stressing the role of the lead implementing bodies and relevant specialised agencies.

At the meeting, participants began discussing ways to assess the MPAC 2025 implementation progress. Singapore suggested a meeting on this issue be held in the country in September 2018.

At the inaugural meeting of the LIB-SI on March 14, ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi emphasised that infrastructure, roads, sea ports and airports are the basis for the sustainable development of ASEAN cities.

Under the pressure of rapid urbanisation, in which 90 million people are forecast to move to ASEAN cities by 2030, the ASEAN countries must optimise existing natural resources and infrastructure while making effective and creative infrastructure development plans so as to keep up with this trend. Therefore, the role of the LIB-SI is even more important and needs to be strengthened to become the lead body of ASEAN in implementing all infrastructure projects in the MPAC 2025.

At the 28th ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, in September 2016, ASEAN leaders approved the MPAC 2025 with a view to achieving a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN that will promote competitiveness, inclusiveness and a greater sense of the Community.

At the 30th and 31st ASEAN Summits in Manila, the Philippines, in 2017, the leaders supported the necessity to consolidate the apparatus for the MPAC 2025 implementation, including the establishment of the LIB-SI.-VNA