Malaysia hails Vietnam’s ASEAN 2020 chairmanship hinh anh 1Kamsiah Kamaruddin, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to ASEAN (Source: Malaysian permanent delegation to ASEAN)

Jakarta (VNA) - The 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, despite the constraints posed by COVID-19, was able to bring together all the 10 ASEAN heads of Government, 10 foreign ministers, and eight representatives of the bloc’s dialogue partners, Kamsiah Kamaruddin, Permanent Representative of Malaysia to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has said.

Calling the event a success, she told the Vietnam News Agency in an inclusive interview that 2020 marked an extraordinary year for ASEAN and the world as a whole.

The Malaysian diplomat underscored that Vietnam, as the Chair of the ASEAN 2020, has shown its tremendous leadership in steering ASEAN, ensuring that the bloc continues its work, given unprecedented COVID-19 challenges.

The country spearheaded and supported new initiatives that address the challenges faced by ASEAN and ASEAN member states during the pandemic, she noted.

According to her, the most meaningful achievement for Malaysia at the summit was the official release of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), which was first proposed by Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the ASEAN Plus Three Special Summit on COVID-19 held in April this year.

 It reflects the bloc’s solidarity and capabilities in facing regional and global challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, she said.

The diplomat talked about the achievement of ASEAN initiatives on COVID-19, namely the COVID-19 ASEAN Response Fund, ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, and the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

She also highlighted the timely conclusion and signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on November 15 on the sidelines of this annual summit, calling it a “holistic huge achievement” of the bloc and its five free trade agreement partners – China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and New Zealand./.