Vietnam performs better than expected as ASEAN Chair: expert hinh anh 1Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong addresses the opening ceremony of the 37th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Hanoi on November 12 (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Vietnam has been serving as Chair of ASEAN in a difficult time, but it has shown better-than-expected performance in leading the bloc during a context full of challenges like at present, according to Dr Balaz Szantos at the Chulalongkorn University of Thailand.

Talking to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 37th ASEAN Summit and related events held online from November 12 to 15, he said 2020 is a year full of challenges to the leadership of ASEAN, in seeking interest similarities and priorities for the bloc.

However, Vietnam has performed better than expected in leading ASEAN amid this challenging context, he noted, adding that it has worked to lead other member states to escape from the COVID-19 pandemic on the basis of similar interests and cooperation.

The region has become more cohesive, and Vietnam’s efforts to lead the region through this difficult year, maintain ASEAN’s solidarity and unity, and keep the bloc outside of the competition among external entities are evidence of the country’s endeavour in its ASEAN Chairmanship, the expert in political science went on.

Szantos said despite COVID-19, ASEAN has still managed to carry out annual political activities. Vietnam has emphasised the need for the bloc’s solidarity and joint actions to overcome current challenges while not advocating barriers, which is a relatively encouraging sign of the future of ASEAN as an important regional organisation./.