Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Minh Vũ.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyễn Minh Vũ talks to the press on the sidelines of the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM) High-level Policy Dialogue held in Hà Nội earlier this week about its achievements over the past 25 years and Việt Nam’s contributions to its success.
The ASEM High-level Policy Dialouge was initiated by Việt Nam to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of ASEM (1996-2021) and was highly appreciated and strongly supported by member countries. What are your thoughts about the event?
The ASEM is the sole forum connecting Asia and Europe with 53 members. This is a big forum which accounts for 60 per cent of the world’s population, 55 per cent of global trade and more than 60 per cent of the global GDP.
The event which was held at a time the world is struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the importance that Việt Nam and other countries attach to the Asia - Europe partnership. In particular, it showed some countries, including Việt Nam, have gained certain successes in the fight against COVID-19 and are beginning to return to normal.
We can continue to affirm that Việt Nam is a safe destination for investment and business activities and that in Việt Nam, international cooperation has returned to normal.
The dialogue also provided an important opportunity for participants to discuss detailed and substantive measures while sharing experiences and ways for sustainable economic recovery and COVID-19 prevention and control.
Many participants urged promoting the vaccine sharing process more strongly and enhancing cooperation in vaccine development and manufacturing as well as vaccine technology transfer.
They also said in the mid- and long-term period, we needed to start handling challenges, particularly climate change and making use of the development of the Forth Industrial Revolution for sustainable, green, inclusive and innovative development for the sake of the quality of life of people on both continents.
Through the event, ASEM also showed itself as a highly dynamic forum and an incubator of new cooperation ideas. Many speakers shared ideas and visions with a view to turning ASEM into a major driver of global growth and global economic connectivity and a highly important part of a green and clean world with sustainable, inclusive, and innovative development that centres on the people, in the next five and 10 years and beyond. From that, ASEM will bring into play its role around the globe more strongly, shaping a rules-based world order and bringing about peace, stability, prosperity, and happiness to not only the two continents but also the whole world.
How do you assess Việt Nam’s contributions in ASEM?
Over the last 25 years, since it became a founding member of the forum, Việt Nam has pursued the consistent policy of proactively and actively integrating into the world.
Việt Nam has made active contributions to ASEM activities over the past 25 years. The country hosted several high-level ASEM activities, such as the ASEM Summit in 2004 and the ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in 2009.
The country has also served in some important positions in the ASEM cooperation process like the coordinator of the Asia - Europe cooperation and the deputy director of the Asia - Europe Foundation. It has also submitted a number of cooperation initiatives while sponsoring and co-sponsoring more than 60 initiatives and projects on cooperation development in ASEM.
Việt Nam has also put forth many initiatives for cooperation with other member countries, particularly in developing the digital economy and society and adopting models of green, clean, sustainable, inclusive, and innovative economic development which are the strengths of many developed nations in ASEM.
What are your thoughts about the meaning of enhancing the Asia-Europe partnership and the ASEM in helping to implement socio-economic development policies and strategies of Việt Nam in the new period towards the goal of becoming a developed and upper income nation in the mid 21st century?
The ASEM gathers many dynamic economies with high development level. In order to fulfil the target of developing the country into a developed and upper income country by 2045, we need to tap resources and experience of developed countries within ASEM.
The Asia-Europe cooperation forum and the ASEM have brought forwards many cooperation models as well as cooperation programmes in socio-economic development, particularly sustainable economic development, green economic development and the model of economy that brings in happiness and value to improve people’s living quality. These are models that we can learn from developed members in Europe.
The ASEM cooperation has created a multilateral platform with cooperation programmes on the basis of three pillars about culture-society, trade and investment and science and technology. Basing on those cooperation programmes, we can enhance cooperation with each partner within ASEM in order to take advantage of resources to promote the implementation of the socio-economic development strategies of Việt Nam.
What are the prospects of Asia-Europe cooperation in the next decade?
There are four reasons why the Asia-Europe cooperation will be indispensable and increasingly important in the future.
Firstly, the world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic which is expected to linger on for many years.
Secondly, economies are currently on the way to recover at uneven pace due to different levels of access to vaccines.
Thirdly, nations are facing high risks of huge impacts of climate change and the depletion of resources.
Fourthly, the world is witnessing the strong development of the digital and scientific and technological revolutions.
These are the four reasons why ASEM countries agreed to enhance cooperation. At this event, ministers stressed that ASEM cooperation is indispensable in order to tap opportunities and handle challenges facing the international community, including the Asia-Europe forum. — VNS