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|The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force convened the 63rd meeting virtually in Jakarta, Indonesia on March 25. (Photo: VOV)|
Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN chaired the meeting in the capacity of chair of the Task Force in 2021.
This was a regular meeting of ASEAN permanent representatives to review the implementation of projects within the IAI and seek solutions to further improve the efficiency of IAI Work Plans, including the completion of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020) and the launch of IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025) which was adopted in late 2020, VOV cited
So far, 22 out of 26 action lines of the IAI Work Plan III, or 84.6 percent, have been implemented across five strategic areas of “Food and Agriculture”, “Trade Facilitation”, “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)”, “Education”, and “Health and Well-being”.
Currently, 127 projects have been approved and implemented with total capital of US$30.79 million. By the end of the work plan in July 2021, seven additional projects will be designed to complete the remaining four action lines.
At the meeting, the Task Force approved 17 new projects within the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025), 16 of which are funded by Singapore and one by Japan.
|Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN. (Photo: VOV)|
In the future, the Task Force will continue to speed up the second phase of the project supporting the implementation of the IAI Work Plan IV, including the organization of national consultations in CLMV countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) and a regional consultation forum, thus building detail implementation plan and propose model projects in CLMV countries, according to Vietnamnet.
The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), launched in 2000, helps ASEAN’s newer Member States implement ASEAN commitments and agreements. Through special assistance to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV countries), it aims to further regional integration in order to narrow the development gap within ASEAN.
IAI has so far seen the adoption of three Work Plans. Work Plan IV will provide additional support to CLMV countries to develop project proposals. IAI Work Plan IV has been developed in close collaboration with CLMV countries, other AMS and stakeholders, and is aligned with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the various sectoral Work Plans.
Furthermore, IAI Work Plan IV has given significant consideration to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to persist and impact CLMV countries in the coming years. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency for countries to deepen the capacity and resiliency of their public health systems. Similarly, increased digital adoption in micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and schools could accelerate business recovery, and ensure that students continue to receive an education when traditional delivery channels are compromised. Work Plan IV must also be flexible to accommodate new developments and other emerging trends in the next five years.
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