Ten initiatives and priorities for economic cooperation in 2021 were approved at the 27th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat which was held virtually on March 2 and 3, with the participation of Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh and other delegates.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh attends the 27th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat (Photo: VNA)
The initiatives and priorities have outlined three major orientations - recovery, digitalization, and sustainability - with a particular focus on such important areas as trade facilitation, tourism, energy, information technology, minerals, and sustainable development.
It is worth noting that several initiatives inherit cooperation contents from 2020 when Vietnam undertook the role of ASEAN Chair.
Amid the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, delegates discussed ASEAN’s efforts to boost economic recovery while going ahead with the fight against the pandemic and the important task of boosting economic development, particularly the expansion of the ASEAN List of Essential Goods.
The retreat also reached a consensus on 2021 agenda priorities in economy with 68 different contents, such as trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property, e-commerce, and consumer protection, among others.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh voiced his support for Brunei’s initiatives during its ASEAN Chairmanship Year 2021, and affirmed Vietnam’s readiness to boost closer coordination with other ASEAN members states to realize the common targets of the ASEAN Economic Community.
Vietnam also shared its experience and efforts to control the pandemic and ensure economic development while carrying out its commitments within ASEAN and the ASEAN Plus frameworks.
Together with discussions on intra-bloc economic cooperation, the participants also exchanged views on extra-bloc economic cooperation, such as reviewing the implementation of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) and collaboration between ASEAN and the EU.
They said their countries are redoubling efforts to soon adopt the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement to facilitate post-pandemic recovery.
Within the framework of the retreat, the participants held a consultation with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to make recommendations on health care and dealing with non-tariff measures, and enhancing public-private partnerships (PPPs) in ASEAN and between the grouping and its partners.VOV