In his address, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc welcomed the presence of ASEAN leaders, Korean President Moon Jae-in, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, along with General Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and thanked them for taking part in the summit.
At present nations across the world are facing unprecedented challenges caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic which has already spread to more than 200 countries and territories globally, seriously impacting the socio-economic life of many nations, including ASEAN and its partners.
In promoting the spirit of “cohesion and proactive response", PM Phuc stated that the ASEAN Community is working closely together with its partners and the international community to halt the spread of the pandemic.
The prompt and drastic efforts taken by the governments of ASEAN member states, China, Japan, and the RoK have served to control the outbreak and slow the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic. So far the initial results have been encouraging, he said.
There is a tradition of good co-operation among ASEAN+3 in order to effectively cope with various economic challenges, natural disasters, and epidemics, including the SARS virus that hit back in 2003. Amid the severity of the COVID-19, it is essential for members to follow these traditions, whilst displaying the spirit of solidarity and co-operation that is necessary to overcome this difficult and challenging period, PM Phuc added.
He expressed his hope that the summit will achieve important outcomes that can be applied to benefit all participants, while affirming ASEAN+3’s commitment and determination to enhance co-ordination in order to achieve an economic recovery and bring about social stability. Therefore ensuring a peaceful life for citizens of member states, in which, the role of partners such as China, Japan, and the RoK is extremely important, he added.