Prime Minister attends summits between ASEAN and China, Japan, RoK

September 06, 2023 - 18:53
Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính attended summits between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners – China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) – in Jakarta on Wednesday.


The 26th ASEAN-China Summit was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

JAKARTA — Vietnamese Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính attended summits between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners – China, Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) – in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The partners affirmed the importance they attach to ASEAN, and shared the wish to cooperate with the bloc extensively to cope with global challenges.

They also emphasised the hope to enhance dialogues and cooperation, towards an open, transparent, and inclusive region where international law is respected and ASEAN stays at the centre.  

At the 26th ASEAN-China Summit, the sides reported that two-way trade hit a new record of US$722 billion, saying China has become the grouping’s biggest trade partner for 14 consecutive years.

Lauding the progress in negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, they agreed to further boost cooperation in the economy, trade and investment, while expanding collaboration in digital transformation, digital economy, climate change response, energy transition, and green, sustainable development.

The year 2024 was designated as the year of ASEAN-China people’s exchange.

In his remarks, PM Chính highlighted the reciprocal relationship between ASEAN and China, and expressed his hope that they will become one of the most important comprehensive strategic partners of each other, for peace, cooperation, and development.

As leading trade partners of each other, ASEAN and China should closely coordinate to turn the region into an epicentre of growth, and take advantage of their close geographical distance to raise the quality of economic, trade and investment cooperation, step up connectivity, and ensure production and supply chains, he suggested.

On this occasion, the PM suggested China expand the market, raise the quota of transit goods and speed up the opening of its door to agricultural and aquatic products and fruits from ASEAN countries through Việt Nam.

Chính noted his hope that the ASEAN-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will prove effective, contributing to maintaining an environment of peace, stability, and cooperation for mutual development in the region.

Both ASEAN and China should serve as positive factors in promoting trust-building, enhancing dialogues, and peacefully resolving disputes in the region, including the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea) issue, contributing to the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) towards an effective and efficient Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the PM said.

The summit adopted the ASEAN-China Joint Statement on Mutually Beneficial Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and another on deepening agricultural cooperation.

The 24th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

Speaking at the 24th ASEAN-RoK Summit, PM Chính affirmed that their strategic partnership and comprehensive cooperation have been further strengthened, and lauded the Korea-ASEAN Solidarity Initiative (KASI) by the RoK to advance the relationship.

The PM thanked countries for their support of the initiative of ASEAN-RoK Day slated for November in Việt Nam.

To celebrate the 35th anniversary of ASEAN-RoK relations in 2024, the PM suggested both sides make joint efforts to embark on a new journey with a broader vision and higher goals.

He stressed the need to create significant breakthroughs in economic cooperation, and promote trade and investment in a balanced and sustainable manner.

The leader called on the RoK to open its market further for exports such as agricultural and aquatic products, and seasonal fruits from ASEAN countries, and support ASEAN enterprises to engage more intensively in global supply chains of Korean businesses.          

He also suggested the two sides foster cooperation in digital transformation, biotechnology, high-tech electronics, semiconductors, clean energy, smart cities, high-tech agriculture, and the establishment of environmentally-friendly, value chain-focused industrial production complexes.

The sides should bolster cultural exchanges, and promote cooperation in the Mekong sub-region through the framework of the Mekong-RoK partnership, he continued.

At the same time, they need to coordinate to elevate their partnership, and share interests and responsibilities in ensuring peace, security, stability, and development in the region, including the East Sea and the Korean Peninsula, PM Chính said.  

The RoK’s President Yoon Suk Yeol commended the significant contributions of Việt Nam as coordinator for the ASEAN-RoK relations.  

The KASI demonstrates the importance the RoK attaches to as well as its support for ASEAN’s centrality and AOIP, he affirmed, calling on ASEAN countries to support the RoK’s hosting the EXPO 2030 BUSAN, which is expected to create a forum for participants to seek solutions to common challenges, towards a better future for the region and the world.

The RoK is the fifth-largest trade and investment partner of ASEAN, with a two-way trade volume of $222.8 billion and the total foreign direct investment from the RoK reaching $12.7 billion last year.

The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation in addressing emerging non-traditional security challenges; boost trading; support businesses and startups; step up collaboration in culture, education, and tourism; and expand cooperation in such areas as science and technology, innovation, digital transformation, infrastructure, clean energy, smart cities, sustainable urbanisation, and future industries.

The leaders adopted a Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP.

The 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit was held in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang

At the 26th ASEAN-Japan Summit, leaders approved a joint statement on the establishment of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, vowed to coordinate closely on the ASEAN-Japan Commemorative Summit in Tokyo this December.

The ASEAN-Japan cooperation has yielded positive results in recent times. Japan is ASEAN’s fourth largest trading partner and second largest investment partner, with two-way trade reaching $268.5 billion last year, up 11.2 per cent year on year. Total Japanese investment in ASEAN hit $26.7 billion last year, up 27.7 per cent year on year.

ASEAN appreciated Japan’s contribution of an additional $100 million to the ASEAN-Japan Integration Fund (JAIF) to assist the bloc in establishing and operating the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED).

The two sides consented to effectively implement the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (AJCEP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement (RCEP). They also agreed to promote cooperation in terrorism and transnational crime prevention, maritime security, natural disaster management, and people-to-people exchange, innovation, digital transformation, electric vehicle ecosystem development, energy, climate change response, clean energy transformation, and green growth.

Speaking at the summit, PM Chính pledged that as an active member of ASEAN and an extensive strategic partner of Japan, Việt Nam will make every effort to contribute to deepening the ASEAN-Japan relations.

To that end, he proposed that the two sides beef up trade-investment cooperation, maintain the supply chain, create conditions for products of ASEAN countries to make inroads into the Japanese market, and assist regional businesses in engaging more deeply in the supply chain of Japanese businesses, as well as the global supply chain.

The PM expected that Japanese strategic investors would join hands with ASEAN to further promote new and potential areas of cooperation such as green economy, digital economy, and circular economy, among others.

At the end of the summit, the leaders of ASEAN and Japan issued a Joint Statement on Cooperation on the AOIP. — VNS