An overview of the plenary session (Photo: VNA)
Singapore, (VNA) -  Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc joined other ASEAN leaders at the plenary meeting of the 32nd ASEAN Summit under the chair of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore on April 27 evening.

PM Lee Hsien Loong underlined the theme of ASEAN in 2018, which aims to build a resilient and innovative ASEAN.

Under the theme, ASEAN member countries will work together to implement cooperation orientations defined in the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision for a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN, building a network of smart cities and enhancing cyber security cooperation in ASEAN.

ASEAN leaders expressed support of the ASEAN 2018 theme and stressed that resilience and innovation have been the foundation for ASEAN’s stable growth over the past half a century.

They said it would also be a firm pillar for the association’s continued development in the context of rapid and complicated developments in regional and international situations along with new opportunities brought about by the 4.0 industrial revolution.

The leaders engaged in in-depth discussion on the directions for ASEAN cooperation and linkages in priority fields, noting the need to strengthen intra-bloc partnership in economics, trade, investment; and expand regional economic links and cooperation with partners.

They also agreed to continue efforts to foster a favourable business environment and support small- and medium-sized enterprises and startups, develop regional connectivity and narrow the development gap in the region.

The leaders reached consensus on promoting people-centred cooperation through enhancing capacity to tackle challenges posed by terrorism and trans-national crime, ensure cyber security, invest in education, encourage dynamic youth development and support the old.

Highlighting innovation-based development, the leaders held that ASEAN should optimize benefits of the 4.0 revolution by promoting the application of new technologies, especially in developing the digital economy, expanding e-commerce, increasing the people’s access to information and building smart cities.

Sharing the ASEAN leaders’ view, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated the theme and priorities of ASEAN 2018 proposed by Chair Singapore.

He affirmed that ASEAN’s collective resilient capacity should be fostered and brought into play in all three pillars, with maintaining the bloc’s solidarity, unity and central role having significant meaning.

Meanwhile, innovation will be the lever to enhance ASEAN’s Resilience, Phuc said.

The Vietnamese PM took the occasion to announce that Vietnam has selected its three top cities – Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang – to join the ASEAN Smart Cities Network initiative.

He invited ASEAN leaders to attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF-ASEAN) slated to be held in Vietnam in September this year.

PM Phuc and other ASEAN leaders are scheduled to attend the opening session and the retreat meeting of the 32nd ASEAN Summit on April 28. -VNA