Vietnam’s entry into ASEAN opens new chapter in Southeast Asia relations: Ambassador hinh anh 1Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to ASEAN (Photo: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) -
Vietnam’s admission to ASEAN on this day 25 years ago opened up a new chapter in its cooperative relations with other Southeast Asian countries, Ambassador Tran Duc Binh, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to ASEAN, said in an interview with Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Jakarta.

He also spoke of the entry of Laos and Myanmar two years later and Cambodia in 1999, which created a ten-member bloc of cooperation, peace, and development.

Joining ASEAN brought about a peaceful and stable environment for Vietnam and allowed it to develop. Vietnam also has the opportunity to engage economically within ASEAN and in cooperative programmes such as Common Effective Preferential Tariffs (CEPT), APEC, and the WTO.

Within the framework of ASEAN, Vietnam has begun and expanded cooperation with partners such as the US, China, Russia, the Republic of Korea, Australia, India, and Canada.

It has also taken part in multilateral regional cooperation mechanisms such as ASEAN Plus 3, the East Asia Summit (EAS), and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), thus raising its role and position in the region and beyond.

According to the ambassador, over the last 25 years, Vietnam has remained an active and responsible member of ASEAN. Immediately upon joining the bloc, it actively promoted the admission of Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar to the bloc, contributing to the formation of an ASEAN that includes all the 10 Southeast Asian countries.

Vietnam has made significant contributions to defining development targets and orientations and building major policies such as the ASEAN Vision 2020, the ASEAN Charter, a roadmap to build the ASEAN Community 2015, and many important agrements, including the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the ASEAN Connectivity Initative, the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP), and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

An active member of the bloc, Vietnam has always been among the countries boasting the highest rate of implementation of the ASEAN Community building master plan. It has also fulfilled its responsibilities as a member country, by undertaking important ASEAN activities such as successfully organising the sixth ASEAN Summit in Hanoi (1998) and fulfilling the role of the ASEAN Chair in 2000 and 2010.

In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, since the beginning of the year, Vietnam has actively coordinated with other ASEAN countries in a timely manner to deploy initiatives and work with partners to control and prevent the spread of the pandemic, including the issuance of the ASEAN Chair Statement on COVID-19 Response; the organisation of the ASEAN and ASEAN Plus 3 Special Summits on COVID-19 Response; the establishment of the ASEAN Fund to cope with COVID-19; the co-organisation of online meetings with ASEAN partners such as China, the EU, the US, and international organisations; and the successful organisation of the 36th ASEAN Summit.

Vietnam has also actively contributed to expanding relations and promoting cooperation between ASEAN and partners, in addition to maintaining solidarity, consensus, and common stance of ASEAN in regional and international issues and in the East Sea issue, as well as maintaining regional peace, security, stability and developent. One of the issues that draw countries’ attention is that Vietnam and ASEAN are negotiating with China on a Code of Conduct on the East Sea (COC) and ensuring its efficiency./.