|Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan speaks at the International Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo yesterday. — AFP/VNA Photo
TOKYO (VNS)— The region and the world are facing swift and unpredictable changes and stronger integration between nations is required to withstand the resultant challenges, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has declared.
Joining a regional co-operation mechanism is one way to build confidence and diminish the risk of conflict, Nhan told Government leaders and top business executives at the 19th International Conference on the Future of Asia, which began in Tokyo yesterday.
Themed "Asia's Search for Steps towards Stronger Ties and Integration," the conference discussed issues relating to economic integration and development and challenges to regional security in the context of new leadership in a number of countries, including Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.
Rising tensions in territorial disputes in the region was another topic that drew the attention of the participants.
In his speech, Nhan said that Viet Nam has always actively and responsibly participated in regional co-operation and integration frameworks.
According to the deputy PM, in order to maintain dynamic growth for a more stable and prosperous region, Asian countries need to strengthen co-operation and integration in six areas: Trade and investment; workforce supply for both developed and developing countries; goods transport services; sustainable management and exploitation of water resources; the fight against environmental pollution and climate change; and cyber security.
Nhan also proposed the establishment of six specialised forums in Asia, covering partnerships in pollution minimisation and climate change mitigation; development of shipping services; maritime security and safety; water resources protection and utilisation; cyber space security; human resources development and overseas labour; and transparency of financial markets.
The Deputy PM also hailed the positive relationship between Viet Nam and Japan, stressing that their ties rest upon a solid foundation of trust, understanding and friendship, meeting the aspirations and interests of the two peoples and actively contributing to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.
Addressing the forum, speakers from regional countries discussed the target of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, the role of big countries in the region's stability and development, disputes in the East Sea and the co-operation between countries in and outside the region.
In his speech, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the latest movements related to regional politics, economics and security, including the tension on the Korean peninsula and sea and island disputes among some countries.
He stressed that big countries must contribute to the stability and development of the region through their actions, citing that the US and China need to build strategic trust while Japan and China should exercise restraint.
The Philippino Foreign Minister Albert Del Rosario emphasised the need to obey the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea in resolving disputes in the East Sea.
On the same day, Nhan met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chairman of the Japan-Viet Nam Friendship Parliamentary Alliance Toshihiro Nikai and President of the Japan International Co-operation Agency Akihiko Tanaka.
During the meetings, the two sides spoke highly of the good relations between the two countries and agreed to further enhance the bilateral strategic co-operation.
The conference was co-organised by the Nikkei newspaper and the Japan Centre for Economic Research (JCER). It was also attended by representatives from international organsiations and scholars from regional countries. — VNS