Granting an interview to the Vietnam News Agency ahead of the summit, Dato Lim said the ASEAN Summit is the highest decision-making body in the region. The Leaders’ deliberation and decision will set the tone for the work of ASEAN, as well as ASEAN’s engagement with its Dialogue Partners.

Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi

High on the agenda is the Leaders’ endorsement of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and its Implementation Plans, which will serve as the whole-of-community exit strategy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are also expecting constructive outcomes from the RCEP negotiations to provide a significant boost to market confidence, which is much needed amid the pressures of COVID-19 and general uncertainties on the region’s economy,” he said.

In addition, the ASEAN leader also expected to see outcome on the discussions of ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement, to facilitate the safe resumption of people-to-people connectivity in the region.

“These measures represent ASEAN’s collective response towards “normality” in the post-COVID-19 era in a safe and sustained manner, factoring into consideration the national health and travel protocols of each member state,” he noted.

He said at the 37th ASEAN Summit, the work on Community-building continues apace with the mid-term reviews of the ASEAN Political-Security Council (APSC), ASEAN Economic Council (AEC) and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Council (ASCC) Blueprints, and the Master Plan on the ASEAN Connectivity 2025.

“Beyond ASEAN, we will continue to strengthen relations with external partners, and will be adopting Plans of Action with Canada, India, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and United States to elevate these bilateral partnerships to greater heights,” he stated.

According to Dato Lim, under the chairmanship of Vietnam, preparations for the 37th ASEAN Summit have been progressing smoothly.  Twenty-nine high-level meetings and activities are scheduled for November 9-15.  There will also be the 23rd ASEAN Plus Three Summit and the 15th East Asia Summit, as well as various Post-Ministerial Conferences (PMC) between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners.  The 4th RCEP Summit will also be held.

In addition, two special meetings would be convened, including the ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit to celebrate 45 years of partnership and the inaugural ASEAN Women Leaders’ Summit to recognise the role and contributions of women towards a gender-equal ASEAN Community.

Other notable events to be launched and be reported at the ASEAN Summit will be the Mid-term Review of ASEAN Community Vision 2025 Blueprints, the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, and the Launching of the ASEAN Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies.

Source: VNA