Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (center) attends a meeting of the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Treaty Commission in Jakarta, Indonesia.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency regarding Vietnam's 28 years of ASEAN membership in Bangkok, Szanto emphasized that the nation’s willingness to actively engage in the bloc shows that it is not just a formal entity but an organization with an important role and influence in the region and beyond.

He said Vietnam has made significant efforts to build consensus among member countries and to ensure that the development of the community does not go off track due to diverging opportunities and interests pursued by each member.

Concerning Vietnam's motto of being "positive, pro-active, and responsible" in ASEAN-related activities, the expert noted that promoting a more proactive approach is crucial to help the bloc be ready to cope with the changing international political landscape. It is a necessary change and a trend that needs to be encouraged within the association.

On post-COVID-19 economic recovery and growth, he expressed his belief that one of the main directions for ASEAN countries is to reduce dependence on exports and international tourism. Instead, they need to prioritize leading a strong internal market and having a robust consumer base within the bloc to drive economic development.

According to him, Vietnam has been playing a positive role in reforming its economy and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. These align with the country’s traditional values, which focus more on the solid foundation of domestic labor and consumers, rather than relying too much on foreign markets.

Source: VNA