ASEAN+3 SOM: Vietnam underlines cooperation to fight COVID-19, promote recovery as top priority hinh anh 1Officials at the meeting on June 22 (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA)  - Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung affirmed that enhancing cooperation to push back COVID-19 and promote comprehensive recovery remains the top priority, while addressing the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting held in the form of video conference on June 22.

Dung, who is also head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM, called on China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) to share experience in pandemic response and help ASEAN improve its COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity and purchase the vaccines.

ASEAN+3 should work to fruitfully implement the joint statement of the 23rd ASEAN+3 Summit that took place last November, on enhancing ASEAN+3 cooperation to improve economic and financial self-reliance in the face of emerging challenges in the region, he said.

As Chair of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), Vietnam suggested the three partner countries continue their support to ASEAN in narrowing development gaps in its sub-regions, including Mekong, amidst impact of the pandemic, he said.

ASEAN+3 SOM: Vietnam underlines cooperation to fight COVID-19, promote recovery as top priority hinh anh 2Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung, also head of Vietnam’s ASEAN SOM (Photo: VNA)
Sharing opinions of other countries at the meeting, Deputy FM Dung stressed that ensuring an environment of peace, security and stability is the prerequisite condition to facilitate efforts in recovery, growth and sustainable development.

He noted the need to step up dialogues and cooperation, build trust, observe the law, respect and trust each other, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.

At the meeting, delegates highlighted progress in ASEAN+3 cooperation, especially in coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigating its socio-economic impact, and promoting comprehensive recovery and sustainable development.

China, Japan and the RoK pledged to continue their support for ASEAN’s initiatives for COVID-19 prevention and control, help ASEAN member countries raise their capacity for preventive medicine and for the research and development safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as well as equal access to vaccine.

The ASEAN countries spoke highly of China’s supply of 100 million doses of vaccine to ASEAN and its commitments to more supplies to them.

Japan and the RoK have also contributed and committed to providing 1 billion USD and 200 million USD, respectively, for the COVAX AMC mechanism, to provide vaccines for poor and developing nations.

The ASEAN+3 countries pledged to coordinate closely to facilitate trade and investment links, expand regional connectivity, and gradually remove travel restrictions between regional countries when possible.

The three partner countries consented to expand collaboration with the ten-member grouping in new fields such as digital transformation, innovation technology, financial technology, e-commerce, green recovery and growth, to ease socio-economic impact and spur sustainable recovery.

They also pledged to continue promoting trade liberalisation, and regional economic connectivity, and to early ratify and implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)./.