ASEM leaders take photos at the conference. Photo: EPA/VNA
The 11th Asia-Europe Meeting took place in Ulan Bator, Mongolia on 15-16 July under the theme “20 Years of ASEM: Partnership for the future through connectivity”.
The Summit adopted the “Ulan Bator Declaration of the ASEM in the third decade,” “Statement of 11th ASEM President” and the Declaration of ASEM leaders on anti-international terrorism. These are important orientations with specific measures, showing strong determination to give new impetus to deepen the Asia-Europe cooperation, and enhance ASEM’s role contribution to global efforts in the new decade.
The high-level delegation from Viet Nam led by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc participated and made outstanding contributions to the success of the Summit.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was the first of the three leaders representing 53 ASEM members to speak at the 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum, and delivered a speech at the Plenary Session about “Two decades of partnership: Looking back at the past and towards the future.”
At this Summit, Viet Nam proposed the initiative “ASEM Conference on creative education and human resources building for sustainable development” which was highly appreciated and agreed to co-sponsor by several members. In addition, Viet Nam also joined the initiative co-sponsored by Lithuania on the “International Conference on Economic Empowerment of Women-Creating Equal Opportunities in Employment.” ASEM members highly valued the practical proposals of Viet Nam to raise the ASEM cooperation in the third decade, including enhancing connectivity in infrastructure, trade, finance, information technology, human resources, the Mekong Subregion, closely linking ASEM cooperation with sustainable development goals, especially the targets of poverty reduction, ensuring social welfare and response to global challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, sea level rise, saltwater intrusion, strengthening efforts to engage young people and businesses, especially small- and medium-sized businesses, start-up businesses.
Viet Nam's initiatives in responding to natural disasters, and training of skills to shift to green growth model received continued commitment of ASEAM members in 2016. Many members shared Viet Nam’s view for the need to increase contructive dialogue and cooperation and solve conflicts in line with international law without unilateral action causing tension and complication of the situation, without threat to use or use of force, trust building, respect for diplomatic and legal process in line international law in order to maintain peace, security and stability in Southeast Asia, including the East Sea, and make contribution to elevate cooperation, connection and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world. Viet Nam’s actively engagement and leading role to promote and implement initiatives in the framework of ASEM in the past 20 years and in this time Summit have continued to confirm Viet Nam’s position as an active member of ASEM, thereby contributing to raising Viet Nam's new status.
While attending the 11th ASEM Summit, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the official members of the delegation had extensive contacts with about 20 leaders of ASEM members, including the President of South Korea, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Prime Minister of China, Laos, Japan, Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Vice President of India.
Through the meetings, the Prime Minister and leaders of other countries agreed on specific measures to further boost ties, especially promoting more high-level visits, implementation of agreements, cooperation mechanisms, and strengthen exchanges at all levels between ministries, sectors and localities.
On this occasion, Viet Nam and Malta signed the agreement on avoidance of double taxation and prevention of evasion of taxes on income. Countries highly appreciated Viet Nam’s socio-political stability, efforts to restructure the economy, and deepened international integration. They agreed to create favorable conditions for the business community to grasp and take advantage of tremendous opportunities of trade and investment from theses economic linkages. Leaders of ASEM countries agreed to strengthen coordination and mutual support in international and regional issues of mutual concern and confirmed to exert efforts to maintain peace and stability and facilitate cooperation and development.
It can be confirmed that ASEM is an important cooperation mechanism to heighten interests and concerns about economy, development and security as well as enhancing the position of Viet Nam and ASEAN in general. ASEM includes 19 out of 25 strategic and comprehensive partners of Viet Nam, constituting 70% of foreign direct investment and the total value of international trade and 80% of tourists to Viet Nam. Viet Nam signed or is negotiating free trade agreements with 47 out of 50 member countries of ASEM. These are potential opportunities for the ministries, branches, localities and each citizen to bring into play in the new development phase of ASEM.