Vietnam defines priorities for ASEAN cooperation in 2016 hinh anh 1ASEAN flag hoisting ceremony in Hanoi (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – An inter-ministerial meeting took place in Hanoi on January 8, to review the results of Vietnam’s ASEAN cooperation in 2015 and define priorities for 2016.

At the regional level, ministries agreed to effectively implement the ASEAN Community Vision to 2025 and master plans to strengthen the pillars of politics-security, economics, and culture-society, particularly, initiatives on enhancing connectivity between member countries and narrowing development gaps.

They vowed to step up the implementation of existing commitments relating to freer trade, services and investment; as well as new commitments to market opening and economic integration. The ministers agreed on participation in ASEAN’s socio-cultural activities - that are suitable for the country’s resources like social welfare, disaster relief and climate change response, were just as necessary.

They also agreed to promote the central role of ASEAN and develop relations between ASEAN and its international partners.

At the national level, ministries pledged to boost communications on the freshly-formed ASEAN Community, and adjust laws to facilitate the implementation of regional commitments.

The year 2015 has great significance with the birth of the ASEAN Community on December 31, which was the result of cooperation efforts of ASEAN member countries over the past 48 years and marks an important milestone in the ASEAN connectivity process.

Delegates to the meeting agreed that in the past, Vietnam has fully, actively and responsibly taken part in carrying out its commitments and had contributed effectively to ASEAN and between ASEAN and its international partners.

The country has had important contributions to completing works required to establish the ASEAN Community, and made numerous initiatives to strengthen regional connectivity and narrow the development gap between member states going forward.-VNA