|Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung
2020 will mark 5 years of building the ASEAN Community. With a firm foundation of 5 decades, ASEAN countries, which have different economies, history, and culture, nevertheless share common values, community sentiment, responsibilities, and interests.
As ASEAN Chairman for next year, Vietnam’s goal is to protect shared strategic and economic interests and promote the ASEAN characteristics.
With cohesion, the ASEAN Community can strengthen its capacity to effectively respond to opportunities and challenges and become a more important factor in regional and global cooperative mechanisms.
Rapid changes and strategic competition among powers could have adverse impacts on ASEAN. The 4th Industrial Revolution has exposed ASEAN countries to new challenges.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said “The core of a community is cohesion, solidarity, and consensus in economics and culture and the awareness of the community and businesses about our shared interest. We need to think for the community and act for the community, not just for national interests. The 4th Industrial Revolution will create many opportunities and challenges, so we have to prepare not only for Vietnam but for the whole Community.”
Old tasks, new challenges
2020 will mark 25 years of Vietnam’s membership in ASEAN. It will be the second time Vietnam has assumed the ASEAN Chairmanship. Vietnam will carry on with tasks to maintain ASEAN’s development and promote its achievements.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said “We need until 2025 to complete the master plan for building an ASEAN Community. We will adopt common views on regional and global issues. For example, last year ASEAN adopted a common view of the One Belt, One Road and the Indo-Pacific initiatives instigated by world powers. Vietnam will continue to promote those efforts during its tenure.”
Vietnam will work with other ASEAN countries to train human resources for the 4th Industrial Revolution, support startups, and develop a network of smart cities.
Despite development gaps within ASEAN, Vietnam has always expressed goodwill, enthusiasm, and responsibility toward ASEAN. ASEAN has a strategic importance in Vietnam’s external policy.