Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underscored the need to respect international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in order to build trust and ensure regional stability.
|PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit
At a retreat between leaders of ASEAN and Australia within the framework of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in Sydney on March 18,the Vietnamese government leader pointed out that the security situation in regional waters still run potential risks of instability.
The protection of regional security and environment, as well as marine scientific research should be taken into account in maritime partnerships, he said and praised efforts made by Vietnam and Australia, along with the EU in co-chairing the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Support Group on maritime security for 2018-2020, considering this a positive contribution to peace, cooperation and trust building in the region.
Vietnam applauds initiatives for peace and connectivity between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific in line with international law, he noted.
At the meeting, PM delivered a key note speech on orientations for the partnership and economic cooperation between ASEAN and Australia in the new period, emphasizing that ASEAN-Australia relations are in the best development period after 44 years of consolidation and growth.
|PM Phuc was one of the four ASEAN leaders to have been invited to give a keynote speech at the retreat.
He urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Australia to step cooperation and mutual trust, for interests of each side, as well as for cooperation and stability in the region.
Both sides should double efforts to build open, transparent, inclusive order in the region, and ensure that regional countries comply with international law and respect each other’s interests, Phuc said.
They were also urged to carry out effectively the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement, soon finalized negations of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.
He stressed that greater attention should be given to innovations, connectivity promotion, support for businesses and improvement of added values of ASEAN economies and Australia in the global value chain, while suggesting both sides should intensify cooperation programmes targeting people, especially via collaboration in education-training,cross-cultural exchange and people-to-people contacts so as to provide a solid foundation for reinforcing the ASEAN-Australia relationship in the time ahead.
At the retreat, ASEAN and Australia leaders also discussed strategic regional and international matters of shared concern, including the Korean Peninsula and East Sea issues.
Meanwhile, at the plenary session of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit the same day, they compared notes on orientations of the ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership with the centre on collaboration in economy and anti-terrorism.
They pledged to bolster in building a peaceful and prosperous region for ASEAN citizens.
Australia voiced its support for ASEAN’s central role in an open, transparent, inclusive and rules-based regional architecture, while increasing dialogue mechanisms at levels with the ten-member group on strategic regional issues. Such dialogue mechanisms include the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).
They also concurred to enhance trade and investment and support the multilateral trade system on the basis of respecting law, along with deepening economic links between ASEAN and Australia.
They vowed to offer favourable conditions for businesses, especially small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), support start-ups and stimulate the digital economy.
ASEAN and Australia reiterated their commitment to pushing negotiations to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement as scheduled.
Concerning anti-terrorism cooperation, they highlighted the signing of a memorandum of understanding on anti-terrorism on March 17 as a milestone in the joint combat.
The two sides also agreed to augment cooperation in education, training and people-to-people exchange, particularly within the framework of the New Colombo Plan.
On the fringes of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, PM Phuc also met with Cambodian PM Samdech Hun Sen, Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Malaysian PM Najib Razak, Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Long and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Cambodian PM Samdech Hun Sen and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi confirmed their participation in the sixth Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit (GMS 6) set for March 29-31, 2018 in Hanoi.
The same day, PM Phuc, his wife and high-ranking Vietnamese delegation left Sydney, ending their activities within the official visit to Australia and the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit from March 14-18.