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Full remarks by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at ASEAN Future Forum 2024

VGP - Below are full remarks by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the opening session of the ASEAN Future Forum in Ha Noi on April 23, 2024.

April 24, 2024 10:18 PM GMT+7




"Strategic Vision for a Future-Oriented ASEAN Community"

(8.30 am, 23 April 2024, Melia Hotel)


Your Excellency Sonexay Siphandone, Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Chair of ASEAN for 2024,

Your Excellency Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN,

Esteemed Ministers,

Distinguished guests,

1. To begin, I extend my warmest welcome and appreciation to all distinguished guests attending the ASEAN Future Forum, under the theme "Towards Fast and Sustainable Growth of a People-Centered ASEAN Community."

This auspicious gathering, with nearly 500 Governmental officials, Ambassadors, academia, business communities, and delegates from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN's partners and international organizations is a vivid testament to their interests and active support for Viet Nam's new initiative that aims to contribute to shaping the future for ASEAN and the region.

Charting future courses has become a task of greater urgency than ever before, at a time when the world is at major turning points, with three key strategic trends:

- First, the intensifying competition and fragmentation among major powers, creating profound challenges to unity and cooperation at both regional and global levels.

- Second, the rapid advancement of new technologies and digitalization, which provides both opportunities for breakthroughs and risks of being left behind, particularly for developing and less developed countries.

- Third, the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development, as well as green growth. While this is an excellent opportunity, it also exerts great pressure, thus requiring novel mindsets and approaches that are global, whole-of-population, and comprehensive, so as to bring about long-term interests.

2. After nearly six decades of development since its establishment, ASEAN has been in an ever advantageous position, yet never faced with such a multitude of challenges.

- ASEAN has been the catalyst for dialogue, cooperation and development, and been at the heart of numerous initiatives to bolster regional connectivity. At the same time, it is also the epicenter of fierce strategic competition.

- ASEAN centrality is widely acknowledged. However, from time to time, its role has not proven to be substantive in certain areas.

- ASEAN is the 5th largest economy in the world. And yet, there remains a considerable gap in the development level within the Association. Intra-ASEAN cooperation and connectivity have also not lived up to expectations.

In this connection, it is evident that ASEAN faces an ever-increasing need

to adopt a strategic and comprehensive vision and bolster its proactiveness and responsiveness, so as to seize opportunities, address challenges, and ensure stable and sustainable development.

Distinguished guests

3. For almost three decades since its accession to ASEAN, Viet Nam has always regarded the ASEAN as one of our high foreign policy priorities, and done its utmost to help create a united and strong ASEAN Community with an ever-greater role and influence in the region and the world.

Viet Nam's path of development in its reform and integration process has been closely intertwined with ASEAN, having recorded important achievements. Viet Nam's successes underscore the accurate and strategic nature of the guidelines and policies of the Party and State of Viet Nam in the building of three foundational factors, that include:

(1) Building a socialist democracy,

(2) Building a socialist law-governed state,

(3) Building a socialist-oriented market economy.

In addition, Viet Nam also strives to implement six priorities, namely:

(i) The foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization and diversification of external relations, being a friend, a reliable partner, and an active and responsible member of the international community.

(ii) The defense policy of "Four 'No's."

(iii) The establishment of an independent and self-reliant economy in tandem with active, extensive, substantive, and effective international integration.

(iv) The pursuit of social progress and equality, and improvements of the people's living standards,

(v) The building of a progressive culture embedded with Viet Nam's national identity, since "culture would light the path for the entire nation."

(vi) Further efforts to combat corruption and extravagance.

Nevertheless, Viet Nam has also faced numerous challenges, as a developing country and a transitioning economy that remains modest in scale, highly open, and lacks resilience.

These are common obstacles that many ASEAN countries face during their development process. This underscores the need for unity, trust, and joint efforts among ASEAN Member States, as well as cooperation and support from international friends and partners.

We need to steadfastly uphold a global, whole-of-population, and comprehensive approach, so that our shared ASEAN family will continue to stand firm against all odds.

4. ASEAN has outlined its goals toward 2045, with an aspiration for a dynamic, united, and resilient Community. To realize the ASEAN Community Vision 2045, I would like to outline five enhancements as follows:

- First, enhancement of cooperation and unity in diversity, while upholding ASEAN's spirit of independence, resilience, and strategic self-reliance. We need to build upon ASEAN centrality, respect differences, ensure harmonious interests, and steadfastly maintain ASEAN's positions and principles with regard to security and development issues in the region and the world.

- Second, enhancement of strategic trust within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners. This will help prevent conflicts and maintain peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region and beyond.

- Third, enhancement of digital transformation and green growth, while also expediting innovation and startup, so as to foster new and sustainable drivers for ASEAN's growth going forward.

- Fourth, enhancement of harmonious, sustainable, inclusive, and people-centered development, with the people being at the heart, the actor, the driver, the resource, and the goal of development. We shall not sacrifice social progress and equality and the environment for mere economic gains.

- And fifth, enhancement of efforts to mobilize all social resources, particularly public-private partnership, and seek strategic breakthroughs in terms of institutions, human resources, infrastructures, and national governance, with a view to fostering rapid and sustainable development for ASEAN.

Distinguished guests,

5. We are firmly confident that ASEAN will continue to actively join hands with the international community in shaping the future of the world.

"Tomorrow begins from today" - Viet Nam will continue to make every effort to work with fellow ASEAN Member States, partners, and friends to pen new chapters of greater successes, thereby paving the way for a new future of a dynamic and resilient ASEAN Community that is united in diversity. Through such endeavors, ASEAN will make further meaningful contributions to peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region and the world.

May the ASEAN Future Forum be a great success!

Thank you.