43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits
China, RoK, Japan Affirm The Importance They Attach to ASEAN
Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday held a summit with China, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and Japan – in the Indonesian capital Jakarta, VNA reported.
The partners affirmed the importance they attach to ASEAN and shared the wish to cooperate with the bloc extensively to cope with global challenges.
They also emphasized the hope to enhance dialogues and cooperation, towards an open, transparent, and inclusive region where international law is respected and ASEAN stays at the center.
|At the 26th ASEAN-China Summit. Photo: ASEAN Secretariat|
Prepare to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area
At the 26th ASEAN-China Summit, the sides reported that two-way trade hit a new record of USD 722 billion, saying China has become the grouping’s biggest trade partner for 14 consecutive years.
Lauding the progress in negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, they agreed to further boost cooperation in the economy, trade, and investment, while expanding collaboration in digital transformation, digital economy, climate change response, energy transition, and green, sustainable development.
The year 2024 was designated as the year of the ASEAN-China people’s exchange.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highlighted the reciprocal relationship between ASEAN and China and expressed his hope that they will become one of the most important comprehensive strategic partners of each other, for peace, cooperation, and development.
As leading trade partners of each other, ASEAN and China should closely coordinate to turn the region into an epicenter of growth and take advantage of their close geographical distance to raise the quality of economic, trade, and investment cooperation, step up connectivity and ensure production and supply chains, he suggested.
On this occasion, the PM suggested China expand the market, raise the quota of transit goods, and speed up the opening of its door to agricultural and aquatic products and fruits from ASEAN countries through Vietnam.
Chinh noted his hope that the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will prove effective, contributing to maintaining an environment of peace, stability, and cooperation for mutual development in the region.
Both ASEAN and China should serve as positive factors in promoting trust-building, enhancing dialogues, and peacefully resolving disputes in the region, including the East Sea issue, contributing to the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the PM said.
The summit adopted the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Mutually Beneficial Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and another on deepening agricultural cooperation.
2024 will mark 35 years of the ASEAN-RoK relationship
Speaking at the 24th ASEAN - RoK Summit, Chinh affirmed that their strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation have been further strengthened, and lauded the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) by the RoK to advance the relationship.
The PM thanked countries for their support of the initiative of ASEAN-RoK Day slated for November in Vietnam.
|PM Pham Minh Chinh at the 24th ASEAN- RoK Summit. Photo: VNA|
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of ASEAN-RoK relations in 2024, the PM suggested both sides make joint efforts to embark on a new journey with a broader vision and higher goals.
He stressed the need to create significant breakthroughs in economic cooperation and promote trade and investment in a balanced and sustainable manner.
The leader called on the RoK to open its market further for exports such as agricultural and aquatic products, and seasonal fruits from ASEAN countries, and support ASEAN enterprises to engage more intensively in global supply chains of Korean businesses.
He also suggested the two sides foster cooperation in digital transformation, biotechnology, high-tech electronics, semiconductors, clean energy, smart cities, high-tech agriculture, and the establishment of environmentally friendly, value chain-focused industrial production complexes.
The sides should bolster cultural exchanges, and promote cooperation in the Mekong sub-region through the framework of the Mekong-RoK partnership, he continued.
At the same time, they need to coordinate to elevate their partnership, and share interests and responsibilities in ensuring peace, security, stability, and development in the region, including the East Sea and the Korean Peninsula, Chinh said.
The RoK’s President Yoon Suk Yeol commended the significant contributions of Vietnam as coordinator for the ASEAN-RoK relations over the past time.
The KASI demonstrates the importance the RoK attaches to as well as its support for ASEAN’s centrality and AOIP, he affirmed, calling on ASEAN countries to support the RoK’s hosting the EXPO 2030 BUSAN, which is expected to create a forum for participants to seek solutions to common challenges, towards a better future for the region and the world.
The RoK is the fifth-largest trade and investment partner of ASEAN, with a two-way trade volume of USD 222.8 billion and a total foreign direct investment from the RoK reaching USD 12.7 billion last year.
The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in addressing emerging non-traditional security challenges, boost trade, support businesses and startups, step up collaboration in culture, education, and tourism, and expand cooperation in such areas as science and technology, innovation, digital transformation, infrastructure, clean energy, smart cities, sustainable urbanization, and future industries.
The leaders adopted a Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP.
|At the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit. Photo: ASEAN Secretariat|
ASEAN, Japan establish comprehensive strategic partnership
At the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit, leaders approved a joint statement on the establishment of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and vowed to coordinate closely on the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo this December.
The ASEAN-Japan cooperation has yielded positive results in recent times. Japan is ASEAN’s fourth largest trading partner and second largest investment partner, with two-way trade reaching USD 268.5 billion last year, up 11.2% year on year. Total Japanese investment in ASEAN hit USD 26.7 billion last year, up 27.7% year on year.
ASEAN appreciated Japan’s contribution of an additional USD 100 million to the ASEAN-Japan Integration Fund (JAIF) to assist the bloc in establishing and operating the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).
The two sides consented to effectively implement the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP).
They also agreed to promote cooperation in terrorism and transnational crime prevention, maritime security, natural disaster management, and people-to-people exchange, innovation, digital transformation, electric vehicle ecosystem development, energy, climate change response, clean energy transformation, and green growth.
Speaking at the summit, PM Chinh pledged that as an active member of ASEAN and an extensive strategic partner of Japan, Vietnam will make every effort to contribute to deepening the ASEAN – Japan relations.
To that end, he proposed that the two sides beef up trade-investment cooperation, maintain the supply chain, create conditions for products of ASEAN countries to make inroads into the Japanese market, and assist regional businesses in engaging more deeply in the supply chain of Japanese businesses, as well as the global supply chain.
The PM expected that Japanese strategic investors would join hands with ASEAN to further promote new and potential areas of cooperation such as the green economy, digital economy, and circular economy, among others.
At the end of the summit, the leaders of ASEAN and Japan issued a Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (L) meets the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, in Jakarta on September 6. Photo: VNA|
The same day, Vietnamese PM Pham Minh Chinh along with his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, President of the RoK Yoon Suk Yeol, and the Sultan of Brunei on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 6.
The leaders agreed to enhance the exchange of delegations at all levels and make greater efforts to promote bilateral trade, investment, and education cooperation.
At their meeting with the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, PM Chinh suggested the two nations work towards the signing of an intergovernmental agreement on rice trading so as to make contributions to ensuring global food security; while promoting cooperation to develop Vietnam’s Halal food industry for export to Brunei.
Vietnam and Brunei should enhance collaboration and exchange experience in petrochemical development, he said, asking the Bruneian side to present scholarships to Vietnamese students and expand training cooperation to the fields of technology, green economy, and digital transformation, among others.
For more substantial developments of the Vietnam-Brunei Comprehensive Partnership, PM Chinh said it is necessary for the two nations to expand defense-security cooperation and direct exchanges between forces of both sides.
|Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (third from left) meets with his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio in Jakarta, Indonesia, on September 6. Photo: VNA|
To further intensify bilateral economic and trade links, Chinh called for Japan’s coordination to fruitfully implement economic and ODA cooperation projects, and assistance for Vietnam to develop the North-South high-speed railway as well as urban railways in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The Vietnamese PM also thanked and suggested the Japanese Government continue providing favorable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live, study, and work in the Northeast Asian nation and contribute more to local socio-economic development.
PM Pham Minh Chinh and the Chinese Premier expressed their satisfaction at the positive development of the bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and agreed to enhance regular all-level contacts to contribute to more effective, substantive, and deeper cooperation between the two countries.
|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets Chinese Premier Li Qiang on the occasion of the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings in Jakarta Photo: VNA|
Chinh affirmed that Vietnam considers its relationship with China as a strategic choice and a top priority. According to him, Vietnamese ministries and agencies are working closely with Chinese relevant agencies to take concerted and effective measures toward realizing important common perceptions reached by leaders of the two Parties and countries, including stepping up bilateral high-level exchanges and contacts in the near future.
Li affirmed readiness to maintain regular high-level exchanges to deepen discussions on issues of shared concerns.
Meanwhile, Chinh and the RoK's President Yoon have affirmed their commitments to continue close coordination to develop the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership in a more profound and comprehensive manner, contributing positively to peace, stability, and development in the region and the world.
|Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and President of the Republic of Korea (RoK) Yoon Suk Yeol. Photo: VNA|
President Yoon stated that Vietnam is a key partner of the RoK in the implementation of its Indo-Pacific Strategy. He highly appreciated the close cooperation between the two sides in carrying out the results of his Vietnam visit, including an action plan on the deployment of the comprehensive strategic partnership.
The President took this occasion to thank the Vietnamese Government for its attention and favorable conditions provided to RoK enterprises investing and doing business in Vietnam.
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