Illustrative image (Source: Internet)
 
Canberra (VNA) – Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung affirmed that Vietnam highly values ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership during the 30th ASEAN – Australia Forum held in Canberra, Australia from May 22-23.

Speaking highly of the important results of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, Dung underscored the importance of connectivity within ASEAN, and between ASEAN and broader regions, as well as the significance of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)’s strategy to ASEAN development.

He shared the bloc’s priority orientations and encouraged Australian government and firms to actively assist ASEAN in promoting hard and soft infrastructure connectivity in the region and the GMS.

On regional and global issues, Dung expressed his wish that ASEAN and Australia would enhance effective collaboration in ASEAN-chaired frameworks and forums, towards building an open, transparent and rules-based regional architecture.

The Deputy FM took note of ASEAN’s consistent stance on the East Sea issue that was reaffirmed by their leaders during the 32nd ASEAN Summit.

Dung wished that Australia would continue upholding its active role and make constructive and responsible contributions to dealing with challenges to peace and stability in the region.

Australia affirmed ASEAN’s importance in its external policy and supported the bloc’s central role in shaping an open, transparent and rules-based regional architecture. The country wished to continue stepping up economic connectivity and openness in the region.

Amid rapid and unpredictable developments in the region, Australian officials said ASEAN plays an important role as a strategic organiser in forums and mechanisms for the sake of regional peace, security and stability.

The Pacific nation vowed to continue effective engagement in and active contributions to mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus. It expressed support to ASEAN’s 2018 theme of facilitating self-resilience and innovation, including building smart cities.

Both sides discussed issues related to the Korean Peninsula, the East Sea and Rakhine state in Myanmar and other trans-national security challenges.

Expressing concern over recent militarisation in the East Sea, they highlighted the importance of maintaining peace, security, stability, peaceful settlement of issues in line with international law, step up dialogues, build trust and strive to reach an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

On future orientations, they agreed to foster coordination across the pillars of politics-security, economy-trade-investment, socio-culture and people-to-people exchange.

On the basis of common vision and 15 cooperation initiatives as agreed by leaders at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, the two sides vowed to launch specific joint work in the fields of trade, investment, connectivity, infrastructure, creativity and innovation, education-training, gender equality, terrorism and violent extremism prevention, cyber security, trans-national crimes and marine cooperation.

In the near future, they will specify initiatives such as ASEAN-Australia infrastructure and GMS development, maritime cooperation, business connectivity via the ASEAN-Australia Chamber of Commerce and the ASEAN-Australia Business Council.

They will also hold seminars on women and youths’ role in security and development, offer 50 scholarships to ASEAN students in 2019, realise cultural diplomacy initiative 2019, conduct sport exchanges and soon conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).-VNA