Minister-Head of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung speaks at the event (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A seminar on ASEAN-Japan cooperation for prosperity took place in Hanoi on June 4, as part of the 2019 ASEAN-Japan Day in Vietnam initiative.

Japan became a partner of ASEAN in 1973, and the relation was elevated to an strategic partnership in 2003. The country is now the 4th biggest trade partner and 2nd biggest investor of the bloc.

In his opening speech at the event, Minister-Head of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung stressed Vietnam welcomes Japan’s contributions to the negotiations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), expressing his hope for further support to the process so the deal will be concluded this year.

Vietnam hopes for Japanese assistance toward building ASEAN member nations’ high-tech capacity and capitalising on the ASEAN – Japan free trade agreement, the official added.

He said suggestions and proposals for specific cooperation and solutions will help deepen the ASEAN – Japan strategic partnership in line with the new context to contribute to peace, security, and development in the region and all over the world.

Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan Norikazu Suzuki wished for a stronger Vietnam – Japan relationship which could bring peace, growth and stability for the Asia – Pacific region.

He said focusing on ASEAN’s prioritized sectors and central role, Japan will continue supporting the bloc’s connectivity process.

Gathering experts from ASEAN and Japanese governments, as well as representatives of the scholar and business communities, the seminar revolved around the topics of boosting ASEAN-Japan partnership and comprehensive cooperation; high-tech agriculture; smart city models; and aging population.-VNA