Vientiane (VNA) - Lao Deputy Foreign Minister Thongphane Savanphet has spoken highly of Vietnam’s role as the Chair of ASEAN 2020 in guiding and promoting the building of the ASEAN Community in this year.

In that role, Vietnam has proposed various initiatives, especially as the world and the ASEAN members are grappling with major challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vietnam has also put forward initiatives for cooperation of ASEAN which are suitable for member countries, the three East Asian nations and other partners.

Savanphet underlined that although ASEAN is facing many challenges, Vietnam still maintains a focus on ASEAN’s central role, especially in relations with partners and organisations on a multilateral basis.

He affirmed the significance of the special summits slated for April 14, saying they will affirm the leaders’ resolve and political commitment to controlling the disease.

The summits will offer chances for them to share experience and discuss future cooperation in ASEAN nations and between the bloc and the three partners, notably in COVID-19 prevention and control.

Participants will discuss cooperation in sharing experience in treatment, disease prevention, medical supplies and measures to cushion impact on people and the economy, as well as plans for post-pandemic recovery.

He placed importance on the cooperation between ASEAN and international partners in tackling COVID-19, adding that leaders will share experience to find measures which have been taken effectively.

The official expressed his belief in the close collaboration between ASEAN and international partners with Vietnam as Chair, despite impact of the COVID-19.

The country has proposed a number of initiatives to implement its five priorities during its Chairmanship Year, which are expected to be carried out after the COVID-19 is brought under control./.