|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính at the 40th ASEAN Summit. — VNA/VNS Photo|
PHNOM PENH — Amid regional and global economic slowdown, ASEAN must open its markets, remove trade barriers, and work together to create new growth engines, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính told the 40th ASEAN Summit which opened in Phnom Penh on Friday.
The Vietnamese leader said that Việt Nam is willing to work closely with Cambodia and other ASEAN countries to ensure the success of ASEAN conferences.
Sharing the opinions of ASEAN leaders on the association's difficulties and challenges, the Vietnamese PM supported the "ACT: Addressing Challenges Together" ASEAN theme of 2022.
"The past 55-year path of ASEAN has proved that solidarity is the decisive factor to ASEAN's success and the strength for the association to maintain its stability amid the current insecure circumstances," PM Chính said.
He said that the more difficulties and challenges ASEAN faces, the more the group needs to promote the spirit of "community thinking, community action", stand side-by-side, show self-reliance and proactively respond to all challenges. This has been proved by the association's achievements in pandemic control and economic recovery.
PM Chính urged ASEAN to uphold lessons in cooperation and coordinated actions in pandemic control, response and prevention.
He proposed the organisation of a high-level forum in the first half of 2023 to promote partnership for equitable recovery and sustainable growth in ASEAN.
With the motto of making people the centre, goal and driving force of the community-building process, the Vietnamese government leader suggested that the ASEAN Community Vision after 2025 should pay due attention to all social groups, promote inclusive growth and ensure equal enjoyment of all people.
The vision should harmonise equal development, sustainable growth, and policies to promote hard and soft infrastructure in sub-regions with ASEAN's common process to create synergised strength and development driving force for the entire region.
He underlined the need for the association to boost coordination in vocational training, especially in emerging economic sectors, to improve adaptive capacity flexibly and effectively.
Along with the trend of green development, regional countries need to step up cooperation in the development of digital government, digital economy, green economy, circular economy, and digital society to turn digital transformation, green economy, and circular economy into a fresh impetus for regional development.
Together with other ASEAN leaders, PM Chính showed Việt Nam's support for Timor Leste's admission to ASEAN with the initial move of awarding the country observer status.
Regarding international and regional issues, he said ASEAN needs to maintain its centrality, which is necessary to accelerate the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and step-up efforts to build effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in line with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982.
Based on the assessment report of the three pillars of politics-security, economy and socio-culture, the leaders adopted a statement on Timor Leste's application for ASEAN membership, expressing their support in principle the admission of Timor Leste as the 11th member of ASEAN, granting observer status to Timor Leste and assigning the ASEAN Coordinating Council to develop a roadmap for the country's accession to submit to the 42nd ASEAN Summit.
They expressed their appreciation for the efforts and substantive contributions of ASEAN Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi to promoting the process of building the ASEAN Community and promoting the position and image of the ASEAN Community over the past five years.
The summit also agreed to appoint Kao Kim Hourn as the Secretary-General of ASEAN for the 2023-2027 tenure.
Concluding the event, ASEAN leaders adopted; the ASEAN leaders' vision statement on ASEAN ACT: Addressing Challenges Together; ASEAN leaders' statement on the 55th anniversary of ASEAN, and ASEAN leaders' statement on ASEAN connectivity post-2025 agenda. — VNS