|The Vietnamese permanent mission to ASEAN hosts online the 11th ASEAN Connectivity Forum
The online event, which received support from the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia along with the ASEAN Secretariat, saw the participation of 150 contributors from ASEAN member states and ASEAN dialogue partners. They joined in the occasion along with sectoral dialogue partners, development partners, as well as international organisations, the private sector, and other key stakeholders.
In his address at the forum, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to ASEAN and Chair of the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee Tran Duc Binh emphasised that since the first Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) was adopted in 2010, along with the successor the MPAC 2025, ASEAN Connectivity has enjoyed an increasingly important role in supporting the region rebuild and recover together.
“In the face of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, ASEAN Connectivity can contribute more to recovery efforts by developing critical infrastructure, enhancing digital connectivity, and putting people at the centre,’’ said Ambassador Binh.
A better-connected ASEAN will result in a more cohesive and responsive region when facing up to present and emerging challenges, a feat only possible as members strive to nurture collaboration with partners and stakeholders when implementing the MPAC 2025, the Vietnamese diplomat added.
The forum largely focused on three topics crucial to the region’s recovery efforts, including strategic investments in sustainable infrastructure and smart solutions, the leveraging of digital technologies to strengthen supply chain connectivity, and designing suitable education and training to prepare future workforces.
Participants were given the chance to exchange their views on future moves aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and developing recovery strategies aimed towards a seamlessly integrated ASEAN.
The MPAC can be viewed as a strategic plan which had been granted approval by ASEAN leaders in Hanoi back in October, 2010, with a view of promoting intra-ASEAN connectivity, as well as boosting links between the bloc and its partners, towards a seamless and barrier-free ASEAN community.
During the course of the 28th ASEAN Summit held in September, 2016, in Vientiane, Laos, ASEAN leaders moved to adopt the MPAC 2025 with a vision towards creating comprehensive connectivity among ASEAN members.