Themed “Resilience and Innovation”, AMM-51 agreed on enhancing regional connectivity, taking a firm stance in dealing with regional issues, and collaborate with global partners. ASEAN and its partners saw eye to eye on the need to support and enhance a multilateral system with respect to international law, and maintain economic connectivity, trade, and investment liberalization in the face of growing protectionism and anti-globalization.
AMM-51: unity and consensus
AMM-51 involved 30 activities, which took place in a constructive manner. Nguyen Quoc Dung, Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of Vietnam’s delegation to the ASEAN Senior Officials’ Meeting, said: “The meeting took place amidst big changes in geo-economics and politics and unbalanced power between countries. ASEAN, which has an important geo-political position, needs unity and consensus in approaching global issues.”
ASEAN has agreed to adopt a consistent view on new initiatives such as “One Belt, One Road”, “Indo-Pacific”, and Sustainable Infrastructure Connectivity, as well as on major issues affecting peace and stability in the region. Countries have agreed on basic principles and the need to maintain order based on international law and dialogues. They also discussed the negotiation on the Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
ASEAN has made strong progress in implementing the topic “Resilience and Innovation”, a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, and regional development plans, and promoting achievements of the 4th industrial revolution and the digital economy. ASEAN has delivered quick support to disaster-hit in member countries.
Mr. Dung, again: “The ministers agreed to push ahead with negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and urged countries to quickly ratify the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. ASEAN countries want to expand free trade relations with the EU and Canada.”
Vietnam’s contribution to AMM-51
As an active member of ASEAN, Vietnam supports the initiatives of Singapore, ASEAN’s 2018 chair. Deputy Minister Dung again: “Vietnam advocates ASEAN resilience and innovation, developing smart cities, strengthening regional connectivity, narrowing the development gap, and frankly discussing global issues, particularly East Sea issues. Vietnam wants to contribute to ASEAN’s consensus and unity.”
Vietnam has taken on the task of coordinating ASEAN-Japan relations in the 2018-2021 period, after previously doing the same for ASEAN-India relations.