|Vietnamese delegates attend the online dialogue betweeen ASEAN and Canada
Addressing the 17th
ASEAN-Canada annual dialogue held online August 11, Paul Thoppil, Assistant Deputy Minister for the Asia-Pacific at Global Affairs Canada, voiced Canada’s desire to participate more deeply in the regional cooperation mechanisms initiated and led by ASEAN, such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM +), and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).
He particularly appreciated Vietnam’s role as ASEAN Chair 2020 in coordinating efforts of the entire ASEAN community, working closely with partners and international community, and promptly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the event, a representative of the Vietnamese delegation affirmed that ASEAN has upheld the spirit of cohesion, responsiveness and adaptation to the COVID-19 pandemic, helping weather the crisis. He welcomed Canada’s assistance to ASEAN in disease control, and asked it to actively support ASEAN’s anti-epidemic initiatives such as the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund and the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies, to assist each other’s people affected by the pandemic.
The Vietnamese representative stressed that given the current context, countries need to join hands to strengthen partnerships, uphold international law, and ensure peace and stability, creating a favorable environment for recovery and development.
He reiterated ASEAN’s in-principle stance on the East Sea agreed upon by leaders at the recent 36th ASEAN Summit, and noted ASEAN will continue to strengthen cooperation in the constructive manner with all partners, including Canada, to foster dialogue, build trust, and maintain peace and stability in the region.
The two sides agreed to promote economic and trade cooperation, maintain supply chain connectivity, and support the development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). They also agreed to open markets, create favorable conditions for expanding business and investment market, examine the possibility of formulating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), and further promote cooperation in education-training and human resource development through the Canada-ASEAN Scholarships and Educational Exchanges for Development Program (SEED).
They stressed the need to collaborate effectively to respond to emerging challenges such as climate change and disaster management, while fostering innovation cooperation to make full use of the 4.0 Industrial Revolution.
With regard to regional and global issues of mutual concern, Canada voiced its support for ASEAN’s role in promoting cooperation and dialogue, building trust in the region, upholding international law, building a rules-based regional order, and resolving disputes through peaceful means, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and in completing the development of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).