|President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen welcome Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính to the event. VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
BRUSSELS — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính attended a summit celebrating the 45th anniversary of relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU), held in Brussels, Belgium on Wednesday (local time).
In his remarks, the PM stressed the significance of the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit, and stated that cooperation achievements have created a foundation and an impulse for the relationship.
He suggested the two sides consistently pursue the set targets, renew their mindset and take actions to promote their strategic partnership in a balanced, fair fashion, with harmonious interests and shared risks.
Việt Nam always supports EU firms, the leader said, calling on the EU to remove the “yellow card” on Vietnamese fisheries and soon ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agency (EVIPA).
Chính emphasised that global issues need global approaches, and reiterated Việt Nam’s strong commitments to climate change, and green, sustainable development.
He also called for the EU’s maximum support in finance and technology within the framework of the Just Energy Transition Partnership, sharing information and experience in green, clean technology, cooperation in innovation, digital transformation, green economy and digital economy, and collaboration with ASEAN in sub-regional and Mekong development.
The PM proposed ASEAN and the EU take peace as the purpose; dialogue and cooperation the tools; and respect to law, the UN Charter and common values.
Affirming ASEAN’s stance on the East Sea issue, he urged working together to build the sea into waters of peace, stability, cooperation and sustainable development.
Chính also noted his concerns over the conflict in Ukraine, stressing the need to respect legal and legitimate rights and interests, and concern of parties, with top priorities given to ending the conflict, and protecting essential infrastructure, and life and property of civilians.
He also affirmed ASEAN’s common view on peacefully addressing conflicts and disagreements on the basis of respect for international law, the UN Charter, and independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries.
Over the past 45 years, the ASEAN-EU partnership has been developing fruitfully. Last year, the 10-member grouping was the third largest trade partner of the EU outside Europe. Meanwhile, the EU was ASEAN’s third biggest trade partner with two-way trade reaching US$268.9 billion. The EU was also the second biggest foreign investor of ASEAN with a total capital of $26.5 billion.
At the summit, the two sides agreed to deepen the strategic partnership, established in 2020, on the basis of international law, and equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, and promote recovery and green, sustainable development.
The leaders pledged to pay more attention to enhancing economic and trade ties, and stabilising the supply chain, while keeping the target of establishing a free trade agreement between ASEAN and the EU.
The two sides will also step up connectivity through the implementation of the 2020 EU-ASEAN Joint Ministerial Statement on Connectivity and the EU-ASEAN Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, and work to narrow their development gaps.
They will cooperate in climate change response, digital transformation, energy transition, natural disaster management, environmental protection, bio-diversity, and the fight against illegal fishing.
The EU announced an investment package worth 10 billion EUR (US$10.6 billion) under its Global Gateway strategy in ASEAN, the launch of the Sustainable Connectivity Team Europe Initiative, and the implementation of a programme on environmental protection worth 30 million EUR.
The two sides consented to boost multilateral cooperation, share common values and interests, promote international law, and address regional and global challenges, thus significantly contributing to peace, security, stability and sustainable development.
They stressed the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, supporting dialogue and trust building, exercising self-restraint, not taking actions that would escalate tensions, and settling disputes by peaceful measures, in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They called for the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the building of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in accordance with international law, including the UNCLOS.
Regarding other regional and global issues, the leaders shared the view that differences and disagreements should be resolved peacefully.
The summit adopted a joint statement reviewing the achievements recorded over the past 45 years, and putting forth future orientations.
Later the same day, PM Chính and other leaders attended a banquet on the occasion of the summit. — VNS