ASEAN, Switzerland reaffirm commitment to further strengthen cooperation

Thursday, 2021-11-18 21:34:14
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At the event (Photo: asean.org)
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NDO/VNA - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Switzerland reaffirmed commitment to further strengthen their cooperation at the 6th Meeting of the ASEAN-Switzerland Joint Sectoral Cooperation Committee held on November 17 via videoconference.

The meeting was co-chaired by Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political-Security Community Michael Tene, and Head of the Asia and Pacific Division of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, Raphael Nägeli. Members of the Committee of Permanent Representatives to ASEAN or their representatives and the Ambassador of Switzerland to ASEAN Kurt Kunz also attended the event.

At the meeting, the two sides exchanged views on the developments in ASEAN and Switzerland, including responses to COVID-19 pandemic. ASEAN appreciated Switzerland’s humanitarian medical assistance, amounting to around 15 million CHF (over 16 million USD), for the ASEAN region to cope with COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. It also encouraged both sides to further explore possible cooperation in addressing the pandemic and its socio-economic impacts in the post-pandemic recovery phase.

The meeting noted with satisfaction the progress made in cooperation since their partnership began five years ago. Both sides discussed the completed, ongoing, and planned projects in implementing the ASEAN-Switzerland Sectoral Dialogue Partnership: Practical Cooperation Areas 2017-2021.

They explored opportunities to further deepen cooperation in the areas of tourism; connectivity; smart cities; digital innovation; disaster management and humanitarian assistance; and biodiversity, conservation and management.
Other potential areas of cooperation were also discussed, such as; technical and vocational education and training; micro, small and medium enterprises; sustainable development; forestry; cybersecurity; people-to-people contact; public health emergency; and response to the health impacts of COVID-19.

The meeting looked forward to the adoption of the ASEAN-Switzerland Practical Areas of Cooperation (2022-2026), which will serve as a five-year work plan for both sides to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation.