Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh at the 20th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 2 (Photo: VNA)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh joined his counterparts from ASEAN member states, China, the Republic of Korea and Japan to attend the 20th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, on August 2.

The event formed part of the 52nd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-52) and Related Meetings that are underway in the Thai capital from July 29 to August 3.

During the meeting, the FMs reaffirmed the important role of the ASEAN Plus Three in promoting peace, security, stability and prosperity in East Asia and acknowledged the  results of the implementation of the ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan for the 2018 – 2022 period.

They emphasised the need to have a free and fair multilateral trading system and voiced their concern over accelerating trade tensions and protectionism that may take a toll on economic development.

They reiterated the determination to early conclude the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and agreed to enhance support for the development of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

They also agreed to continue the effective implementation of the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) and strengthen the role of the ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO).

Additionally, the ministers welcomed the adoption of the Strategic Directions of ASEAN Plus Three Finance Process on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of ASEAN Plus Three Financial Cooperation.

They acknowledged recent positive progress of the settlement of issues on the Korean Peninsula with the US – DPRK summits held in Singapore in June last year and in Hanoi in Februrary this year and most recently, the meeting of US President Donald Trump and DPRK chairman Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in the DPRK.

They voiced support for continued diplomatic efforts to promote sustainable peace and denuclearisation in the region.

In his remarks at the meeting, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh said he welcomed efforts to expand cooperation within ASEAN Plus Three in innovation-driven development areas, such as digital connectivity, e-commerce, and smart city, in order to reduce development gap.

He also applauded a closer partnership within the bloc in promoting the development of the MSMEs, food security, and response to epidemics and natural disasters.

The minister affirmed that Vietnam will play an active part in fostering and promoting the role of ASEAN Plus Three to contribute to peace, stability and development in East Asia.-VNA