The Vietnamese leader urged ASEAN countries to urgently address policy and institutional bottlenecks and barriers, maintain the stability of the internal supply chain in order to improve the region's resilience against external impacts.
PM Chinh also suggested ASEAN economic ministers vigorously oversee the review, upgrade, and renegotiation of free trade agreements (FTAs) between ASEAN and its partners to create new impetuses for regional economic development.
ASEAN needs to define that ensuring regional peace and security is first and foremost the responsibility of ASEAN, he stressed, adding that the group’s member states must uphold the spirit of unity, independence, and self-reliance, which should be reflected in both words and actions.
Only by doing so, can ASEAN uphold its role and receive real respect from its partners, particularly powerful countries, he said.
He reaffirmed the core spirit of ASEAN, which considers people as the centre, the goal and the motivation of the ASEAN Community-building process, towards narrowing the intra-bloc development gap, especially in remote regions and sub-regions.
PM Chinh took the occasion to announce that Vietnam will host an ASEAN future forum on rapid, sustainable, people-centered development to complement ASEAN's official forums and mechanisms, offering a chance for the exchange of ideas and initiatives for regional cooperation, and contributing to building a resilient and sustainable ASEAN Community.
At the plenary, ASEAN leaders approved several important documents such as declarations on inclusive development for people with disabilities, family development and gender equality, enhancing food security, a framework for ASEAN public health emergency coordination system, among others, which are expected to contribute to strengthening intra-regional efforts to build an ASEAN Community that places people at its centre.
On the same day afternoon, PM Chinh will join other leaders from ASEAN member states at the opening session of the ASEAN-Indo Pacific Forum (AIPF), which is initiative proposed by Indonesia during its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2023.
Delegates will debate strategic cooperation directions for the future, focusing on green infrastructure and a self-reliant supply chain, digital transformation and innovative economy, and sustainable finance and innovation.