Initiative for ASEAN Integration contributes to narrowing development gap

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang on June 8 stressed the significance of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) in narrowing development gap between ASEAN countries and building the ASEAN Community, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at an online forum on the implementation of the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025), Bang emphasised that the IAI Work Plan IV has made significant contributions to the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.

It has also supported ASEAN countries, especially Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV), in digital economic transformation to improve their recovery capacity after the pandemic, he added.

The ambassador thanked partners of ASEAN for their contributions and coordination during the implementation of the initiative, particularly the sponsorship of the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Programme (AADCP II) of Australia.

The ASEAN partners have committed to further contribute to the IAI in the time ahead.

Delegates at the forum also raised proposals on ways to roll out IAI projects more effectively given the complex developments in the region.

Adopted by ASEAN leaders in 2000, the IAI aims to narrow the development gaps between ASEAN countries, and assist CLMV in fully integrating into the regional economy.

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