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VietNamNews

Viet Nam makes constructive contributions to ASEAN-US relations

Update: February, 17/2016 - 14:00
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with US President Barack Obama. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung left California on February 17 (Viet Nam time), successfully concluding his trip to the US to attend the ASEAN-US Summit at the Sunnylands Centre in California.

During the two-day summit, the PM, other ASEAN leaders and US President Barack Obama discussed how to promote regional prosperity through innovation and entrepreneurship and to protect peace, prosperity and security in the Asia-Pacific, as well as the regional strategic prospects.

The leaders also met with representatives from US firms such as IBM, Microsoft and Cisco in order to seek measures to spur the digital economy and increase the US companies' co-operation with and support for ASEAN information-technology enterprises.

On the sidelines of the event, PM Nguyen Tan Dung held meetings with President Obama, Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha.

At the summit, PM Nguyen Tan Dung said as a constructive and responsible member of ASEAN, Viet Nam has exerted efforts to contribute to the ASEAN Community and regional development.

Apart from speeding up the reform process in a comprehensive fashion, Viet Nam will be more active on the path to international integration and economic connectivity at different levels, including the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), he said.

The PM stressed the strategic significance of ASEAN-US relations and their trajectory toward peace, stability and development in the region.

He proposed that the parties should effectively actualise the agreed-upon co-operation programmes, particularly the ASEAN-US Action Plan for 2016-2020; increase co-operation and investment activities; and share start-up experience, knowledge and technology between ASEAN and US enterprises.

With the move, parties would aim to build a regional business environment conducive to innovation and dynamism, and raise ASEAN firms' capacity in IT and sustainable development, the leader said.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung also suggested the establishment of an ASEAN-US Centre of Entrepreneurship and Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Development Support. Such a centre could be situated in Viet Nam.

Issues such as the recent tensions in the East Sea and the Korean Peninsula, the recent terrorist attack in Indonesia's Jakarta, cyber security, cross-border crimes and climate change also heated up the summit.

The leaders underscored the significance of the ASEAN-US partnership, especially in promoting regional prosperity and handling trans-national challenges.

They issued a joint statement which affirms key principles guiding the co-operation between the 10-member group and the US.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung expressed his deep concern over the recent complicated developments in the East Sea – especially actions that have changed the status quo and aim to increase militarisation in the sea, threatening maritime and aviation safety and security in the region.

Countries should prioritise building strategic trust, increasing dialogues and co-operation, abiding by international law, carrying forward the role played by the multilateral institution and supporting ASEAN's decisive role in maintaining peace and security in the region, he said.

The leader hailed active support from the US and other partners for ASEAN's stance in addressing regional security-related problems, including the East Sea issue.

He noted his hope that the two sides will effectively effectuate the ASEAN-US Plan of Action for 2016-2020, fostering their relationship in the time ahead.

At the function, President Obama also stressed that the US attaches importance to its co-operation with ASEAN and its member countries.

The US backs ASEAN's central role in the regional evolving structure and wishes to partner with the group in settling regional and global issues like terrorism, extreme violence, human trafficking and climate change, Obama said.

ASEAN countries said they hope to deepen collaboration with the US in various areas in order to take advantage of the country's support to build a dynamic, open, competitive and connected economy and narrow the development gap.

The ASEAN-US Summit is the first between the 10-nation bloc and a partner country after the formation of the ASEAN Community in December.

It marked a new milestone in the strategic partnership between ASEAN and the US while reflecting ASEAN's increasingly important role in the world arena.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung's attendance at the function mirrors Viet Nam's proactive, responsible role in ASEAN, as well as the country's endeavours to contribute to advancing the ASEAN-US partnership in a pragmatic and effective manner.

Through the summit, Viet Nam is expected to take advantage of the US's co-operation and support in such areas as economy, science-technology, education-training, people-to-people exchange and handling cross-border challenges. — VNA/VNS

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