ASEAN leaders have agreed that the bloc will continue promoting connectivity and developing its community to a new level beyond 2015, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh has said.

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the occasion of the 47 th ASEAN founding anniversary (August 8), Vinh stated that between now and December 31, 2015, when the community is set up, ASEAN must build a post-2015 vision for the community’s development, focusing on such goals as halving the poverty rate or doubling the GDP growth.

The grouping will establish a common market that facilitates the liberalisation of trade, investment and goods, he said.

As the post-2015 period is of decisive significance for ASEAN’s development, the Deputy FM said the bloc needs to enhance links, promote its active role, and consistently maintain the strict adherence to regional and international rules, including international law, in order to ensure the region’s peaceful environment and its central role in the context of more complicated developments and greater interactions with larger countries.

To deal with regional challenges, including non-traditional security ones, territorial disputes or the East Sea issue, ASEAN needs to raise its responsible voice and abide by international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as fully implement the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

In the socio-culture field, ASEAN’s policies should be centered on the people, offering them better welfares, he added.

Regarding Vietnam’s contributions to the building of the ASEAN Community, the Deputy FM said that Vietnam has helped with mapping out major policies, orientations and criteria for the community building, including the Roadmap for the ASEAN Community and the ASEAN Charter.

Vietnam has actively contributed to strengthening ASEAN connectivity and ensuring a peaceful and stable environment in the region, he said, adding that it has also helped the association promote its central role in building regional standards of conduct and a stable regional architecture.

Vietnam has played a leading role in the accomplishment of over 80 percent of the measures defined in the roadmap for the construction of the Community, Vinh quoted the ASEAN Secretariat as saying.-VNA