ASEAN, Russia vow to deepen strategic partnership hinh anh 1Delegates at the meeting (Photo: VNA)
Jakarta (VNA) - The ASEAN-Russia Joint Cooperation Committee (ARJCC) convened the 18th annual meeting at the ambassadorial level in Jakarta, Indonesia, on March 13 to discuss launching projects and promoting bilateral ties.

Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to ASEAN, attended the event.

At the meeting, both sides lauded positive achievements in their cooperation in the fields of politics-security, socio-economy and culture.

Two-way trade hit 19.8 billion USD in 2018, up 17.9 percent from 2017. Meanwhile, Russian investment in ASEAN reached 58.03 million USD in 2018, compared to 47.75 million USD recorded in the previous year.

Under the ASEAN-Russia Comprehensive Plan of Action (CPA) for the 2016-2020 period, 92 out of 139 lines of action were launched across politics-security, economy, socio-culture, connectivity and development gap narrowing.

As of January 31, 2020, the ASEAN-Russia Dialogue Partnership Financial Fund (ARDPFF) had over 7.2 million USD, 1.5 million USD of which was contributed by Russia each year.

The two sides agreed to effectively use the fund in the near future.

Russia affirmed that ASEAN is one of the top priorities in its external policy, and pledged to support the bloc’s central role in maintaining regional peace and stability as well as actively join regional mechanisms led by ASEAN.

Russia also welcomed and vowed to support Vietnam’s initiatives and priorities during the Vietnam ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2020, including the organization of a meeting themed "Cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations in maintaining international peace and security" for the first time at the United Nations Security Council in January.

ASEAN member states spoke highly of activities by ASEAN Centre and the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) over the past time, which they said have contributed to promoting exchanges and science research collaboration between Russian universities and research centres, and those of ASEAN countries.

In the near future, the two sides will further deepen bilateral strategic partnership by coordinating closely to complete the goals set in the CPA for the 2016-2020 period, determine focal cooperation areas to build the CPA for the 2021-2025 period, especially in trade and investment facilitation, science-technology, digital economy, connectivity, development gap narrowing, Smart Cities Network initiative, human resources development, support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, education, youth exchange, epidemic prevention, disaster management and climate change response.

ASEAN and Russia also agreed to push for the early signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in disaster management in 2020./.