OP-ED: Vietnam is an active member in ASEAN’s development
|Foreign Minister Nguyen Manh Cam (second from right) in the ceremony to admit Vietnam to ASEAN. (File Photo)|
Vietnam’s imprints in ASEAN
Vietnam officially joined ASEAN on July 28, 1995, on the occasion of the 28th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-28) in Brunei. Joining ASEAN was a strategic decision by the country’s Party and State, contributing to creating a new development foundation for it, consolidating a peaceful and stable environment, and taking advantage of external resources for development and improvement of its position.
Over the past 27 years, Vietnam has made many contributions to a unified, united, peaceful, stable and developed ASEAN, and played a pivotal role in defining goals and development directions and shaping major decisions of ASEAN.
One of the important highlights of Vietnam's contributions to ASEAN is the successful undertaking and hosting of many important ASEAN activities and meetings, contributing to strengthening solidarity and unity in ASEAN, and enhancing the association’s reputation. In particular, 2020 marks 25 years of its membership in ASEAN, and also its third ASEAN Chairmanship. Amidst difficulties and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam demonstrated its bravery as well as the leading and proactive role of the rotating Chair.
Many important initiatives put by Vietnam in 2020 have become common assets of the bloc, such as the ASEAN COVID-19 Response Fund, the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS) for Public Health Emergencies, and the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
|AMM-55: Opening ceremony of the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting. (Photo: WVR) |
In 2022, with the theme of “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together”, Vietnam continues to contribute proactively, behave positively and share the responsibility with other member countries to overcome challenges, maintain solidarity, continue the momentum of the Community building, promote regional connectivity, effectively respond to emerging challenges, and strengthen the central role and position and voice of ASEAN in the international arena.
Increasingly developing Vietnam-ASEAN economic, trade cooperation
After 27 years, the economic and trade ties between Vietnam and ASEAN have seen outstanding developments. In 1996, when Vietnam joined the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), two-way trade between Vietnam and the other member countries was nearly 6 billion USD, but the figure increased six folds to around 60 billion USD at present.
Notably, in the 2010-2021 period, trade between Vietnam and ASEAN has grown tremendously. Vietnam’s exports increased from 9.3 billion USD in 2010 to 29.1 billion USD in 2021, while its imports also surged from 14.5 billion USD in 2010 to 41.1 billion USD last year.
Last year, Thailand was Vietnam’s largest importer in ASEAN, with a total turnover of 6.1 billion USD, followed by Cambodia (4.8 billion USD), and the Philippines (4.5 billion USD).
|The ASEAN flag-hoisting ceremony was held to mark its 55th founding anniversary. (Photo: WVR/Hong Nguyen)|
In 2022, Vietnam and the other ASEAN countries continue promoting investment and trade collaboration, and stepping up trade promotion, cooperation and connectivity for intra-regional enterprises.
With the motto of being a proactive, active and responsible member, Vietnam continues to work with the other member countries to strengthen ASEAN linkages and cooperation, enhance the bloc's solidarity, unity and central role, for the common goal of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.