Manila (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has expressed appreciation for ties with partner countries and lauded their commitments to building the ASEAN Community and upholding its central role in the region. 

PM Phuc made the statement at the ASEAN 3 Summit with China,  Japan and the Republic of Korea, the ASEAN-Canada 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit and the ASEAN-EU 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit in Manila, the Philippines, on November 14.

At the ASEAN 3 Summit, the Vietnamese PM suggested that the ASEAN 3 mechanism should gear towards regional economic growth, especially in trade, finance, infrastructure, narrowing development gap, connecting  and improving micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)’ capacity.

He urged member states of the ASEAN 3 to boost cooperation in coping with emerging security challenges, including transnational crime, climate change, disaster and epidemics management.

Participating leaders pledged to continue strengthening collaboration in politics, economy, finance, socio-culture, people-to-people exchanges, business connectivity, and towards building the East Asia Community.

Chinese, Japanese and RoK leaders affirmed their commitments to regional cooperation, trade liberalisation, digital economic development and infrastructure connectivity. They also wished to soon conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The summit adopted the Manila Declaration on the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN 3 Cooperation, the ASEAN 3 Leaders’ Statement on Food Security Cooperation and took note of the Report on the implementation of the Action Plan on ASEAN 3 Cooperation and the Action Plan on ASEAN 3 Economic Cooperation adopted by the ASEAN 3 Ministerial Meeting in August 2017.

Addressing the ASEAN-Canada 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit, PM Phuc highlighted three priority areas of coordination, namely improving MSMEs’ capacity; enhancing connectivity, including human connectivity; and coping with challenges regarding climate change, terrorism, extreme violence and maritime security.

He suggested Canada assists ASEAN in improving its capacity of ensuring maritime security, training law specialists and shares its experience in setting disputes at sea in line with international law.

The Canadian side vowed to work closely with ASEAN to effectively realise the 2016-2020 Action Plan and strengthen the bloc’s central role in evolving regional architecture via ASEAN-led mechanisms.

On the occasion, ASEAN leaders also took note of Canada’s proposal to partake in the 12th East Asia Summit (EAS 12) and the ASEAN Defence Ministerial Meeting Plus (ADMM+) and consider the possibility of signing an ASEAN-Canada trade agreement in the future.

In his speech delivered at the ASEAN-EU 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit, PM Phuc said the ASEAN and EU should coordinate closely to implement economic-trade cooperation programmes, and cope with natural disasters as well as traditional and non-traditional security challenges.

On regional and global issues of mutual concern, he affirmed Vietnam’s consistent stance on the denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula as well as the ASEAN’s viewpoint on the East Sea issue, particularly principles mentioned in the Joint Communiqué of the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in August 2017.

Vietnam is ready to join other ASEAN member states to actively contribute to peace, stability and development in the region, PM Phuc stressed.

In the afternoon of November 14, ASEAN leaders attended EAS 12 with eight partner countries including China, Japan, the RoK, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the US, the 15th ASEAN-India Summit, signed the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, attended the closing ceremony of the 31st ASEAN Summit and witnessed the transfer of ASEAN Chairmanship to Singapore.-VNA