HANOI (Aug 3): Vietnam's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son on Tuesday affirmed that ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in the past time has proved its value and promoted its role well in difficult times, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.
Son made the statement while attending the conference of foreign ministers of ASEAN and their three partners China, Japan and the South Korea which was held via teleconference in the framework of the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-54) and related conferences.
He stressed that given the current context, ASEAN countries and China, Japan, and the RoK should continue to strengthen cooperation to effectively deal with emerging urgent challenges.
Regarding the orientation of ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in the coming time, the minister emphasised the need for the countries to enhance collaboration to ensure adequate supply of Covid-19 vaccines towards self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
He called on the three partners to continue helping ASEAN enhance preventive medicine capacity, supplying vaccines for ASEAN countries and assisting the region's economic recovery after the pandemic.
The minister appreciated the active support and cooperation of China, Japan, and the South Korea for sub-regional development, and asked them to continue helping the association in narrowing the development gap and ensuring equitable and sustainable development in the less developed sub-regions of ASEAN.
Participants at the meeting agreed that great progress has been made in their collaboration, and that priority should be given to cooperation in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, minimising its socio-economic impacts, and effectively implementing the Action Plan to mitigate the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
China, Japan, and South Korea affirmed that they will continue to actively support ASEAN's initiatives on Covid-19 prevention and control, help ASEAN countries improve their capacity in preventive medicine and in the research in, development of, and access to vaccines against Covid-19.
The ASEAN Plus Three countries agreed to work closely together to maintain and facilitate trade and investment exchanges, expand regional connectivity, and gradually lift travel restrictions between countries in the region when conditions allow.
China, Japan, and South Korea agreed to step up cooperation with ASEAN in new areas. The countries pledged to continue promoting trade liberalisation and regional economic connectivity and early ratify and implement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
They also highlighted the significance of ensuring a peaceful, secure, and stable environment in the region.
Sharing those ideas at the conference, Son emphasised the importance of enhancing dialogue and cooperation, respecting and trusting each other, upholding the rule of law, promoting mutually beneficial cooperation, and maintaining a peaceful, stable and favourable environment for the recovery, growth and sustainable development of countries in the region.