Viet Nam News
SINGAPORE – Việt Nam Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh welcomed the Singapore-proposed theme of building a resilient and innovative Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) while addressing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) in Singapore yesterday.
He affirmed that Việt Nam would work closely with other member nations to ensure the success of ASEAN 2018.
The diplomat said regional self-reliance should be promoted in all aspects, both politically and economically, to create momentum for ASEAN to push ahead with its new development period.
Additionally, "the association needs to highly appreciate fundamental principles to strengthen solidarity and unification, especially seeking a common voice in regional matters of mutual concern and benefit".
While mentioning external relations, Minh proposed that ASEAN build a balanced and effective approach to extra-bloc relations. It is necessary to improve the operational efficiency of mechanisms and forums set up by ASEAN as tools to maintain its central role in the region.
He suggested member countries stand firm with ASEAN viewpoints about regional and international issues of mutual concern, including that of the East Sea.
The ASEAN member states should be fully aware of peace, stability, security and safety of aviation and navigation in the East Sea as well as reiterate commitments to resolving disputes via peaceful means and in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS), he said.
During the process of building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), "countries need to implement fully the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and speed up measures to reinforce trust", Minh said.
He hoped ASEAN and China would have more practical exchanges to reach an effective and binding COC, making significant contributions to promoting peace and stability in the region.
During the AMM Retreat, ministers reviewed the implementation of the outcomes of the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila in November 2017 and defined cooperation priorities in 2018.
They agreed to build an ASEAN of resilience and innovation, stressing that increasing all-faceted self-reliance of the region in politics-security and economics-trade aims to strengthen solidarity and the central role of ASEAN.
Concluding the AMM Retreat, the host Singapore as Chairman of ASEAN 2018 issued a joint press statement on the outcomes of the meeting.
Singapore to help VN with tech
Singapore would help Vietnam develop a roadmap for transforming industries and improving digital management and business capacity, as heard at an earlier meeting between Minh and Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
They agreed to work together to improve Việt Nam’s capacity in ensuring agricultural products’ safety and hygiene so that more of them would be eligible to enter the Singaporean market, while promoting Singaporean investment in high technology, particularly in constructing information technology parks.
They also consented to maintain all-level delegation visit exchanges as well as enhance trust and people-to-people exchange.
Regarding defence and security, the two ministers discussed the joint operations of the two countries’ armed forces such as joint anti-piracy patrols, search and rescue, and submarine repairs in line with the partnership in countering terrorism and cyber security threats. — VNS