Closer ASEM cooperation to address global issues
QĐND - Tuesday, May 26, 2009, 21:15 (GMT+7)
ASEM member countries should work closely to build up a more sustained financial and economic system to revive the sluggish economy and address global issues, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
PM Dung made the statement at the opening ceremony of the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (FMM9) in Hanoi on May 25. The meeting drew the participation of the ASEAN General Secretary, Surin Pitsuwan, representatives from the EC and more than 400 delegates from 45 ASEM members.
Mr Dung noted that the world is facing numerous challenges as a result of the global financial crisis and economic recession, including climate change, epidemics, energy security and terrorism. These challenges not only affect 6.7 billion people on earth but also future generations, he said.
Given this context, ASEM should act to increase the efficiency of its cooperation and international status, said the PM.
According to Mr Dung, diverse cooperation mechanisms, bilaterally and multilaterally, play an increasing role in maintaining peace, cooperation and development. The coming into being of ASEM in 1996 not only fills a ‘missing link’ in international relations, but more importantly shows ASEM member countries’ determination to build a partnership between the two continents in the interests of the member countries while making an active contribution to new international relations.
He said that as one of the founding members, Vietnam has always cared about and made a positive contribution to the ASEM. The country has actively and responsibly participated in various areas of ASEM cooperation, including politics, economics, culture, education and health care. It successfully hosted the 5th ASEM Summit (ASEM 5) and many other important conferences and forums and has put forward several practical initiatives to the ASEM.
He noted that although Vietnam also suffered from the impact of the global economic crisis, it has taken comprehensive and appropriate measures to maintain macro-economic stability and safety of the credit system. Inflation was kept under control and growth sustained at 6.2 percent in 2008 and 3.1 percent in the first quarter of this year. The GDP growth rate is expected to increase to 5 percent this year and beyond in the following years.
Vietnam is determined to speed up its international integration, and the hosting of FMM9 is testimony to this effort, said Mr Dung.
After the opening ceremony, ASEM delegates held their first session, focusing on measures to boost regional cooperation to address the global financial and economic crisis.
They agreed on various solutions to promote efforts towards an open and equitable multilateral system of trade and finance. They also agreed to strengthen regional economic cooperation to implement declarations approved by its leaders, such as the 2004 Hanoi Declaration on Closer ASEM Economic Partnership and the 2008 Beijing Statement on the International Financial Situation.
They also underlined the need to early resume the ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meeting and the ASEM Financial Ministers’ Meeting in 2010.