PM suggests sub-regional cooperation focus on three priorities for sustainable development
Sub-regional co-operation moving forward should focus on three priorities for sustainable development, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said at the ASEAN High-level Forum on sub-regional co-operation for sustainable development and inclusive growth held on November 30 via videoconference.
The forum provides a platform in which regional countries, partners, international organisations, and experts from the business community can exchange views, and seek appropriate directions and solutions aimed at exploiting their distinct potential. This is along with expanding opportunities and competitive advantages to promote development in sub-regions.
As part of his speech, PM Chinh highly appreciated the active support shown by ASEAN member states and the both regional group’s friends and partners in the process of preparing to organise the first forum of the ASEAN on sub-regional co-operation.
For decades, ASEAN and its members have largely focused on narrowing the gap and accelerating the implementation of the ASEAN integration initiative. Along with ASEAN's rapid and extensive regional integration process, it is becoming increasingly important to connect and ensure that sub-regions maintain the common development process of the wider region.
The Vietnamese Government chief emphasized that solidarity, co-operation, and close co-ordination should take place among countries as essential conditions to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development.
“We need a global, all-people approach in responding to current global challenges, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, environmental pollution, and water security,” PM Chinh stated.
He also underlined the necessity of effectively tapping into the potential of the sub-regions to create business and investment conditions suitable for businesses and public-private co-operation. In addition, Governments need to support and offer optimal conditions in which firms can seek and exploit business and investment opportunities in sub-regions, he added.
“It is necessary to take the people as the subject, the center, the goal and the driving force for development,” PM Chinh stressed.
The Government leader also proposed supporting capacity building as a way of ensuring sustainable development in sub-regions.
“We call on ASEAN member states, partners, especially developed countries, international organizations, banks and the business community to actively support and help developing countries and sub-regions in terms of big enough financial sources," the Vietnamese cabinet leader said.
Incentives should therefore be given to streamlining procedures for technology transfer, especially high technology, green technology, and technologies which can contribute to sustainable development. This must be done in order to conserve natural resources, thereby improving capacity and effectively dealing with challenges that threaten sustainable development in sub-regions, including epidemics, climate change, environmental degradation, and depletion of natural resources, PM Chinh said.
Furthermore, the PM underscored the necessity of strengthening connectivity between sub-regions, narrowing the development gap, especially in terms of strategic infrastructure, economic integration, and digital transformation. This should be done alongside promoting cultural and people-to-people exchanges, creating favourable conditions for people’s travel and transportation of goods, along with linking remote areas of sub-regions with major economic centres of each country and region.
“We suggest that ASEAN's regional cooperation programs, as well as the results of cooperation between ASEAN and its partners, should be spread to the sub-regions and linked in harmony with cooperation efforts within the sub-regional frameworks in order to encourage the business community to increase investment in appropriate fields," PM Chinh said.
PM Chinh believes that, through this first forum on sub-regional co-operation, ASEAN will continue to maintain and ramp up efforts to develop sub-regions in the future. This will be done whilst realising the goal of building an ASEAN community of equitable and sustainable development, thus contributing to peace, stability, and co-operation in the region and the wider world as a whole.