In his opening speech, Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha reviewed the grouping’s achievements this year under the theme “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability” to help create a people-oriented and people-centred ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind and looks towards the future.
ASEAN has made strong strides through the implementation of the ASEAN Leaders’ Vision Statement on Partnership for Sustainability and the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, he noted.
The Thai PM also pointed out the issues ASEAN and the world are facing, including increasing challenges and uncertainties, noting that aside from promoting growth, the association also needs to address problems on developing human resources; conserving the environment; fighting marine debris, haze pollution and IUU fishing; promoting an ASEAN identity; and strengthening partnerships with partners.
|PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (fifth from right) and other ASEAN leaders pose for a photo at the opening ceremony of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on November 3 morning (Photo: VNA)
At the same time, it is also necessary to create a favourable environment for long-lasting peace and stability while promoting dynamic economic growth and sustainable development, the host leader said.
He also asked the relevant parties to continue working to conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within this year to stimulate economic growth, as well as trade and investment.
According to him, to achieve all these, ASEAN needs a new “growth paradigm” which fosters dynamic, sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and prioritises human capital development concurrently with environmental conservation.
Following the opening ceremony, the ASEAN leaders attended meetings with the bloc’s partners, namely the 22nd ASEAN-China Summit, the 16th ASEAN-India Summit, and the 10th ASEAN-UN Summit.
The 35th ASEAN Summit and related summits are underway in Bangkok with the participation of leaders from the 10 ASEAN countries and partners (China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, the US, and Russia), along with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.