Vietnam has carried out the first activities of ASEAN Year 2020 under the theme “Cohesive and Responsive” after assuming the ASEAN Chairmanship on January 1.
Vietnam intends to promote its experience holding the same post 10 years ago, its increased international status, and its non-permanent membership on the UN Security Council to sustain ASEAN and increase its resilience against global impacts.
Founded on August 8, 1967 ASEAN released the Bangkok Declaration showing its ambition for an organization of all Southeast Asian countries to build a region of peace, freedom, and prosperity.
The ASEAN Community, established on December 31, 2015, has become a model of a cohesive community in politics, connectivity, and economics and sharing social responsibility. Since it joined ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has, together with other ASEAN members, overcome multiple difficulties and challenges, contributing to the regional grouping’s sustainability, solidarity and consensus.
ASEAN Community promotes connectivity
To realize the ASEAN Vision 2025, the ASEAN Community plans to promote connectivity and its central role in regional peace, security, stability, and development in Southeast Asia and in the regional structure and international issues. ASEAN is an important dialogue and cooperation partner of many countries.
As ASEAN Chair on the occasion of the regional bloc’s 25th anniversary, the country has both opportunities and challenges in boosting ASEAN’s development.
ASEAN with its strategic location between the Indian and Pacific ocean has a lot of advantages and faces numerous challenges. With a population of more than 642 million people, ASEAN is a potential market with a dynamic economy. ASEAN member states are taking advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution, AI, and robotics technology.
But increasing protectionism and trade conflicts between major countries are slowing its economic growth. Differences between member economies and the demands of increasing integration will require ASEAN’s governments to fashion new economic policies.
For ASEAN’s sustainable growth
Taking the theme “Cohesive and Responsive” for ASEAN Year 2020, Vietnam hopes to strengthen solidarity to promote ASEAN’s sustainable development. A cohesive ASEAN Community will be resilient to external factors and a responsive ASEAN will strengthen the organization.
This year’s theme is a continuation of previous years’ themes of “Strengthening Partnership for Sustainability” and Self-reliance and Creativity”.
Amidst global fluctuations, ASEAN needs to maintain its solidarity and consensus, improve its self-reliance in economics and resilience to emerging challenges, and increase its creativity and dynamism to strive forward. The organization needs to increase its internal strength while flexibly dealing with external relations and mobilizing external resources.