Vietnam has always actively and responsibly participated in regional cooperation and integration frameworks, says Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan.

The Deputy PM made the statement at the 19 th International Conference on the Future of Asia themed “Asia’s Search for Steps towards Stronger Ties and Integration” co-organised by Nikkei newspaper and the Japanese Centre for Economic Research (JCER) in Tokyo on May 23.

The event drew the participation of regional government leaders, businesspeople and scholars.

Nhan said the topic of the conference is highly relevant to the common endeavour of Asian countries to enhance cooperation and integration for each country’s interest and the common benefit of the region and the world.

Joining a regional cooperation mechanism is one way to build confidence and diminish the risk of conflict, he stressed.

According to the deputy PM, in order to maintain dynamic growth for a more stable and prosperous region, regional countries need to strengthen cooperation and integration in the six following areas: Trade and investment liberalisation along with financial investment risk minimisation; ensure workforce supply for developed countries, which have an aging population, and for developing countries, which lack a high-skilled labour force; step up the development of goods transport services; work together in the sustainable management and exploitation of water resources; strive to minimise environmental pollution and mitigate climate change; and cooperate to ensure cyber security.

The deputy PM also proposed the establishment of six specialised forums in Asia , covering cooperation in environmental pollution minimisation and climate change mitigation; development of shipping services; maritime security and safety; water resources protection and proper utilisation; cyber space security; human resources development and overseas labour; and transparency of financial market.

In his speech, the Deputy PM also highlighted the cooperative relations between Vietnam and Japan, stressing that the ties rest upon a solid foundation of trust, understanding and friendship, meeting the aspirations and interests of the two peoples and actively contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Addressing the forum, speakers from regional countries discussed the target of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, the role of big countries in the region’s stability and development, “hot” issues in East Asia, disputes in the East Sea and the cooperation between countries in and outside the region.

Also on May 23, Deputy PM Nhan held meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, Chairman of the Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance Toshihiro Nikai and President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Akihiko Tanaka.

During the meetings, the two sides spoke highly of the good relations between the two countries and agreed to further enhance the bilateral strategic cooperation.-VNA