vietnamese prime minister attends first asean-gcc summit in riyadh picture 1
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (third from left, second row) and heads of delegations pose for a goup photo at the opening ceremony of the first ASEAN-GCC Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on October 20. (Photo: VNA)

This is the first time ASEAN and GCC have held the summit to work out a strategic cooperation plan between the two sides since their establishment of relations in 1990 and adoption of their Joint Vision in 2009.

The summit takes place amid rapid and complex developments regionally and globally. Dialogue and cooperation have become an urgent need of countries, especially small and medium-sized countries.

ASEAN advocates deeper relations with big countries and expanded relations with all countries and organizations around the world, in order to take advantage of resources to build the ASEAN Community, promote recovery and sustainable development, and build a favorable environment for dialogue and cooperation.

Meanwhile, GCC that is comprised of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman follows a moderate foreign policy, promotes the Look East policy, and fosters stronger cooperation with Southeast Asia.

The summit aims to improve economic and trade relations between the two blocs, particularly in energy, low carbon technology, and financial and banking cooperation.

All six GCC countries are priority cooperation partners of Vietnam, spanning many fields from politics to diplomacy, trade, investment, and labour.

Relations between Vietnam and all six GCC member states (Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman) have developed very positively. Two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and these countries reached US$12.5 billion last year. GCC states have so far poured approximately US$1 billion into Vietnam.

Vietnam has about 11,000 workers in GCC countries. It is negotiating a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the UAE.

Source: VOV