The most remarkable achievement of ASEAN after 56 years of existence and development is the maintenance of peace and security, as well as its expansion into 10 countries, and soon 11 countries with the admission of Timor-Leste, thus making the entire Southeast Asian region a strong community, ASEAN Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA).
ASEAN plays a “very strong” role in the region and the global community, occupying a “central” position in regional structures and now has legal status with the adoption of its Charter in 2008, the secretary said ASEAN General Kao Kim Hourn.
ASEAN is developing strongly in terms of diplomatic relations. It is also experiencing an increase in exchanges between peoples. Its citizens can now travel freely within the region without a visa.
ASEAN has become a production center and a single market on the basis of an economic community. The ASEAN Economic Community is attracting increasing interest from trading partners.
This regional bloc has signed numerous bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) with partners such as Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, India… It also establishes a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia and New Zealand. ASEAN is conducting FTA negotiations with Canada, while discussing the possibility of signing FTAs with other trading areas such as the European Union (EU) to bring more free trade benefits to its citizens.
Proactive role of Vietnam within ASEAN
On this occasion, Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn spoke highly of Vietnam’s proactive and responsible role, especially in promoting ASEAN to admit new members, bringing together all continental countries and archipelagos in the region that are no longer geographically divided.
He affirmed that Vietnam has actively contributed to ASEAN, especially in building a community on three pillars of politics and security, economy, culture and society, as well as promoting external relations of the block.
Vietnam also participates in all the mechanisms put in place by ASEAN. As one of the active participants, the country plays a key role in drafting the ASEAN Charter to ensure that it is a guideline for ASEAN’s development.
General Secretary Kao Kim Hourn also expressed his impression of Vietnam’s strong economic and trade development with numerous bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements (FTAs).
Secretary General Kao Kim Hourn said Vietnam can share many valuable experiences with countries in the region, including economic development, improving the quality of human resources, public health, management disasters, diplomacy and promoting the involvement of external partners, while continuing to support the development of ASEAN in all sectors and pillars of the community, as well as the development of ASEAN countries and sub-regions, including the Mekong sub-region.
This article is originally published on lecourrier.vn