High-level policy dialogue marks 25th anniversary of ASEM hinh anh 1Relations between Vietnam and other ASEM members have been growing over the past 25 years (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Policy Dialogue in commemoration of ASEM’s 25th founding anniversary takes place both in person and via videoconference in Hanoi on June 22.

Themed "ASEM at 25: Strengthening Asia-Europe Partnership in a Transforming World", the dialogue is an occasion for the members to discuss the orientations and vision for the Asia - Europe cooperation in the new period, helping to sustain and promote the ASEM cooperation, especially amid the complicated COVID-19 pandemic that has caused serious impacts around the globe.

The event, held at the initiative of Vietnam, features the opening session with participation of ministers and two panel discussions on “Asia and Europe in a resetting world” and “Shaping a vision for stronger Asia - Europe partnership”.

High-level policy dialogue marks 25th anniversary of ASEM hinh anh 2Vietnam joined ASEM as a founding member in 1996 (Photo: VNA)
Over the last 25 years, Vietnam, which joined ASEM in 1996 as a founding member, has always served as an active, dynamic, and responsible member.

It helped propose and promote the ASEM membership expansion twice and, together with other members, adopted many important documents and decisions orienting the ASEM cooperation such as the Hanoi Declaration on Closer ASEM Economic Partnership in 2004.

The country hosted the ASEM Summit in 2004 and the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2009. It has also played an active role in the five specialised cooperation groups, that it is a member, namely the ones on water management, natural disaster response, vocational training, education and human resources development, and technological connectivity.

High-level policy dialogue marks 25th anniversary of ASEM hinh anh 3The 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Hanoi in May 2009 (Photo: VNA)
Vietnam is also the country initiating and maintaining the first cooperation mechanism of ASEM, which is the sustainable development dialogue that focuses on the sustainable management of water resources and the cooperation among the countries traversed by the Mekong and Danube rivers, helping to elevate the Mekong sub-regional cooperation to the regional level in 2011.

Besides, Vietnam is also viewed as one of the active members in proposing and promoting new cooperation aspects, while implementing and co-sponsoring nearly 60 initiatives in different fields.

Via cooperation initiatives, it has joined other ASEM members in highlighting the interest of peace, security, and stability, settling urgent issues, and promoting common concerns.

Most recently, the high-level dialogue on women’s economic empowerment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, proposed by Vietnam, took place in Hanoi in October 2020. It was one of the most important events of ASEM last year and also the first practical activity held to implement the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ statement on COVID-19 response issued on July 9, 2020.

On the basis of ASEM cooperation, Vietnam’s bilateral relations with other ASEM members have been increasingly enhanced.

High-level policy dialogue marks 25th anniversary of ASEM hinh anh 4The ASEM high-level dialogue on women’s economic empowerment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, held at the initiative of Vietnam, in Hanoi in October 2020 (Photo: VNA)
ASEM members currently make up 23 of the 30 strategic and comprehensive partners of Vietnam, and they are also partners in 15 of the 17 free trade agreements that the country has signed or is negotiating. They contribute to about 70 percent of the foreign direct investment in, 70 percent of the foreign trade of, and 80 percent of the international visitors to Vietnam.

In the time ahead, the country is set to keep coordinating with other ASEM members to strengthen the forum’s cooperation and develop an increasingly dynamic and inter-connected Asia - Europe partnership for prosperity in the two continents and the world as a whole.

From 26 founding members, the ASEM forum, founded in Bangkok of Thailand on March 1, 1996, now has a membership of 53, comprising 21 Asian countries, 30 European countries, the ASEAN Secretariat, and the European Commission.

ASEM dialogue and cooperation activities have been carrying out on the political - security, economic - financial, and social - cultural pillars./.