Since joining the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 28 years ago, Vietnam has shown itself as an active, proactive, and responsible member of the bloc, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Laos Thongphane Savanphet.
Talking to the Vietnam News Agency, he said Vietnam’s entry into ASEAN and its activities within the bloc’s cooperation framework over the past 28 years have reflected the success of the country’s Doi moi (Renewal) and its foreign policy in reinforcing and developing cooperation with all countries in the world, including Southeast Asia. They have also demonstrated Vietnam’s growing stature in the regional and international arenas.
Vietnam’s engagement in ASEAN activities has helped not only attract external resources to be combined with the internal strength to serve national development and safeguarding, but also substantially contribute to the protection and promotion of peace, stability, cooperation, and development of the bloc, he went on
The Lao official elaborated that over the past 28 years, Vietnam has made important contributions to common work of ASEAN and obtained outstanding achievements in many aspects, including the building of the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Vision 2020, the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, and the ASEAN Regional Forum Hanoi Plan of Action; post-pandemic economic recovery; the ASEAN Strategic Framework for Public Health Emergencies; the Initiative for ASEAN Integration; and its chairmanship of ASEAN in 1998, 2010, and 2020.
As ASEAN Chair thrice, Vietnam proposed many initiatives and documents which became important stepping stones for intra-bloc cooperation, the building of the ASEAN Community, and the bloc’s cooperation with external partners.
Under the chairmanship of Vietnam in 2020, when the regional and the world were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, ASEAN held online meetings during which its members built cooperation plans and other solutions to promote the three pillars of the ASEAN Community; cooperation with external partners to cope with the pandemic and its adverse impacts; and continue building a stronger Community and enhancing the bloc’s solidarity and centrality in an evolving regional architecture, thereby contributing to the realisation of the grouping’s common targets and regional and global peace, stability, and sustainable development, according to the Lao official.
He perceived that Vietnam’s membership of ASEAN since July 28, 1995, is also a contributor to the country’s socio-economic development, helping the economy boost foreign investment and trade, create jobs, and record continuous growth.
Besides, the ASEAN membership of Vietnam also provided an impetus for Laos to join the bloc two years later, the Deputy Foreign Minister said, noting that after engaging in ASEAN, on the basis of their great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation, the two countries have continued fostering traditional cooperation and mutual assistance.
He highlighted the countries’ traditional coordination and exchange of opinions within the ASEAN framework, and that Vietnam has supported Laos’s chairmanship of the grouping in two previous terms as well as preparations for the third time his country will serve in this role in 2024.
The official stressed the close cooperation and mutual assistance between Vietnam and Laos in ASEAN have significantly contributed to their great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation.
He voiced his belief that they will keep strengthening these special ties in a more substantive and effective manner for the sake of the two peoples and for regional and global peace and development.
Source: Lao News Agency