Vietnam is proud to be a dynamic and responsible member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) over the past more than two decades, leaving significant imprints in the forum’s history since its founding in 1996, according to Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son.
|Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son
In an article written ahead of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s attendance in the 12th ASEM Summit (ASEM 12) in Brussels, Belgium, on October 18-19, the Deputy FM stressed that Vietnam’s joining in ASEM as a founding member in 1996 marked an important step in the country’s foreign policy on multilaterisation and diversification of relations and international integration.
He recalled that Vietnam successfully organised the fifth ASEM Summit in 2004 and five ministers’ meetings. The country also proposed 24 initiatives and co-sponsored 27 others in the ASEM framework. A noteworthy example is the first cooperative mechanism in water resources management which was initiated by Vietnam and countries in the Mekong and Danube river basins in 2011.
The active participation in ASEM and close cooperation with other ASEM members have brought about practical benefits for Vietnam. Among 28 ASEM members, 22 are strategic partners and comprehensive partners of Vietnam. In combination, they account for 70 percent of the country’s foreign direct investment and foreign trade value, as well as 80 percent of foreign tourists. ASEN members are also involved in 14 out of 16 free trade agreements that Vietnam has signed or is negotiating on.
Such figures demonstrate the significance of ASEM members to Vietnam’s economy, the Deputy FM said.
In the context of unstable situation in the region and the world and complicated competition among world powers, Vietnam has coordinated with ASEM members to have more members join in preserving peace, security and stability for development and raise voice to support the country’s just stance in defending territorial sovereignty and promoting the settlement of disputes by peaceful means based on international law and common principles and standards.
At the ASEM 12, Vietnam will continue to propose ideas, thus contributing to the event’s success and promoting the Asia-Europe partnership in a more dynamic, pragmatic and effective manner.
According to Deputy FM Son, the ASEM 12 is considered an opportunities for leaders from the two continents to hold open and straightforward discussions on economic and finance issues along with arising problems in the regions and the world. The leaders are expected to outline the direction and specific measures to create a new driving force for the Asia-Europe partnership, thus contributing to maintaining peace, security and stability in the region and the world, promoting sustainable and inclusive development, and more effectively responding to global challenges.
The summit is also expected to deliver a strong message about a responsible ASEM capable of adapting to the new situation, leading in promoting multilateral cooperation and building a more effective, fair and democratic global governance mechanism.