Illustrative photo (Source: http://thailand.prd.go.th)

Bangkok (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung has put forth four promising cooperation areas between ASEAN and EU in sustainable development, including the strengthening of bilateral, regional and inter-regional economic, trade and investment connectivity, especially the implementation of the ASEAN-EU free trade agreement in the future.

Addressing the ASEAN-EU Dialogue on Sustainable Development in Bangkok, Thailand, on November 17, Dung stressed the need to optimise the effectiveness of existing mechanisms between the two sides, especially missions of EU countries in ASEAN, in order to speed up cooperation, consultations and the implementation of joint projects.

The Deputy Minister pointed to the need to build a specific policy to implement UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with focus placed on the people.

Especially, it is crucial to pay greater attention to educational, scientific and technological development as a new momentum for growth and innovation, aiming to equip the youth with capacity and skills, he said.

At the dialogue, the first of its kind held at Thailand’s proposal, participants recognised the great potentials of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between ASEAN and EU in global issues and sustainable growth.

They acknowledge EU’s significant contribution of 170 million EUR to the Fund for Development Cooperation in the 2014-2020 period to support ASEAN’s integration activities, along with a 2 billion EUR aid through bilateral channels.

They lauded the launching of three new joint cooperation programmes worth 85 million EUR, including a 20-EUR programme on enhanced regional EU-ASEAN dialogue instrument, a 40 million EUR ASEAN Regional Integration Support, and a 25 million EUR programme on promoting the rights and female migrant workers in ASEAN.

They also sought traditional and renovated partnership methods between the two sides, including tripartite affiliation and South-South partnership, while discussing the possibility of forming an ASEAN centre for promoting research and dialogue on sustainable development.  
The delegates agreed to hold the second dialogue in 2019, while promoting the mechanism through the building of a roadmap for development cooperation between ASEAN and EU basing on the bilateral plan of action for the 2018-2022 period.-VNA