Vietnam supports Singapore as ASEAN Chair in 2018 hinh anh 1Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi, (VNA) - Vietnam fully supports Singapore as chair of ASEAN in 2018 and will coordinate with the country as well as other ASEAN members to push forward priorities and initiatives of ASEAN this year for further progress in building the ASEAN Community, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year, the Deputy Foreign Minister talked to the press about Vietnam’s participation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2018.

Deputy FM Dung said at its milestone of the 50th founding anniversary, ASEAN needs to renew itself on the basis of achievements over the past half a century.

“In 2018, there is great expectation for ASEAN under the chair of Singapore, one of the most developed countries in the region,” he said, adding that Singapore is believed to be capable of leading ASEAN on the right track and making new breakthroughs.

The diplomat stressed that Singapore has set the theme for the year as Resilient and Innovative, towards the goals of promoting and maintaining a rule-based regional order in order to better respond to emerging security challenges, promote economic integration and enhance regional connectivity, thus turning ASEAN into a dynamic place for people to live, work and entertain.

According to the deputy FM, ASEAN countries support those initiatives as they suit the development level and requirements of ASEAN.

Deputy FM Dung noted that Vietnam will take up the role as chair of ASEAN in 2020, following Thailand in 2019. One advantage for Vietnam is that the country can make use of the impetus created in the previous terms of Singapore and Thailand, he said, adding that at the same time, Vietnam will face pressure from great expectations.

Therefore, in order to fulfill the role of ASEAN Chair, Vietnam should make careful preparations well in advance.

In this spirit, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh recently chaired a conference on ASEAN pillar communities to clarify outstanding problems and directions to improve the effectiveness of Vietnam’s participation in ASEAN.

The first and foremost task is to enhance awareness about participation in ASEAN, so that all ministries and sectors consider it their own mission, thus taking up a more proactive attitude toward the regional bloc, Deputy FM Dung said.

At the same time, Vietnam should continue fine-tuning institutions and apparatus for ASEAN work, improve the coordination among ministries, sectors, local administrations and the business community, and invest more in resources for the work, in order to make greater contribution to the ASEAN Community while protecting the country’s own interests and priorities.

“We have had a firm foundation in the ASEAN, and we will do our utmost to succeed in our term as ASEAN Chair, thus helping ASEAN make further strides forward while enhancing our position,” Deputy FM Dung said. -VNA