|Diplomats at the online consultation between ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee and partners on August 26 (Photo: VNA)
Partner countries highly valued the progress in the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 despite COVID-19 caused difficulties facing many projects.
Ambassadors of ASEAN’s partners, including the US, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Germany, Canada, New Zealand and Norway, applauded the bloc’s efforts in enhancing connectivity within ASEAN, as well as between the bloc and partners.
They affirmed that their countries will continue assisting ASEAN to implement projects within the MPAC 2025 in particular and connectivity projects in general, such as the US-supported ASEAN Single Window, the ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship Programme, and the Japan-supported ASEAN Smart Cities Network, so as to promote the connectivity in the ASEAN Community building, between the bloc and partners, and in regional economic recovery and development.
At the consultation, participants also discussed measures to bolster the MPAC 2025 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, affirming that the strategic areas in this master plan highly match the post-COVID-19 recovery plan of ASEAN.
They underlined the need to strengthen the coordination and connectivity between the MPAC 2025 and some connectivity initiatives of partners, and to step up the implementation of statements between the bloc and its partners, including the ASEAN Plus Three Leaders’ Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiatives, the Joint Statement of the 22nd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Connectivity, and the ASEAN-China Statement on Synergising the MPAC 2025 and the Belt and Road Initiative.
The MPAC is a strategic plan adopted by ASEAN leaders in Hanoi in October 2010, aiming to bolster connectivity within the bloc, along with between ASEAN and partners, towards a seamlessly connected ASEAN community. Regional leaders approved the MPAC 2025 in Vientiane, Laos, in September 2016 with a vision of creating a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN.