The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade chaired the event which saw the participation of representatives from other ministries such as foreign affairs, finance, transport, science-technology, information and communications, agriculture and rural development, planning and investment, and the State Bank of Vietnam.

Delegates at the event

Senior economic officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat were also present at the event.

Based on the theme of the ASEAN Year 2020 “Cohesive and Responsive”, Vietnam put forth three priority orientations under the ASEAN economic pillar: promoting intra-bloc economic integration and connectivity, intensifying partnerships for peace and sustainable development, and enhancing the bloc’s adaptive capacity and operational efficiency.

In order to implement the theme and priorities of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam built 14 specific initiatives, priorities and specific cooperation plans for discussion, consultation and agreement with the ASEAN member states at the first meeting.

Vietnam’s initiatives were highly appreciated by other ASEAN countries as they help ensure that ASEAN will continue cooperation in 2020 and the following years to accelerate the process of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community as scheduled by ASEAN leaders, thus strengthening the bloc’s central position in the regional and global economic cooperation frameworks.

During SEOM 1/51, participants discussed reports of specialized working groups on portfolio of goods, services, investment, trade facilitation, quality standards, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and rules of origin.

They also proposed solutions to addressing restrictions while implementing the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) between ASEAN member nations, as well as ASEAN’s cooperation priorities with partners, directions to speed up the signing of the Regional Cooperation Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, and the accession of Timor Leste.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups 10 member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source: VNA