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RoK, Japan announce financial assistance to ASEAN at virtual summits

VGP - The 21st ASEAN-Republic of Korea (RoK) Summit and the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit were held online under the chair of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 12.

November 13, 2020 8:44 AM GMT+7

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the 21st ASEAN – Republic of Korea (RoK) Summit, Ha Noi, November 12, 2020 - Photo: VGP

Speaking at the 21st ASEAN – RoK Summit RoK, President Moon Jae-in vowed to join hands with ASEAN to overcome challenges caused by COVID-19. He also announced a contribution of US$1 million to ASEAN COVID-19 response fund and a package of medical supplies worth US$5 million to the bloc. 

He expressed his support for the regional comprehensive recovery framework and efforts to resume trade and investment cooperation via facilitating travelling between both sides.

Moon pledged to accelerate the implementation of the New Southern Policy and further deepen cooperation with the bloc.

They promised to realize common initiatives on promoting ASEAN-RoK economic connectivity in response to COVID-19 pandemic, step up cooperation in digital economy, innovation, high-quality human resources development, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups, thus creating a strong driving force for their economies.

On regional and global issues of shared concern, leaders highlighted the importance of ensuring peace, security, stability, maritime and aviation freedom in the region, including the East Sea; as well as the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

PM Phuc also took the occasion to call for further increasing cooperation in COVID-19 research and production, stably maintain trade and investment, and step up green and sustainable development.

With the official upgrade of Mekong – RoK sub-regional cooperation to a summit level last year, the Vietnamese PM expected the RoK to continue supporting efforts to promote sub-regional sustainable development, including the Mekong Sub-region, and incorporate sub-regional development efforts into ASEAN Community’s common development strategy.

As a coordinator of ASEAN-RoK relations for the 2021-2024 period, Viet Nam will work closely with the RoK and ASEAN member states to uphold existing foundations, as well as continue efforts of Brunei – the existing coordinator to develop bilateral strategic partnership for the sake of peace, stability, friendship and cooperation in the region, he said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the 23rd ASEAN – Japan Summit, Ha Noi, November 12, 2020 - Photo: VGP

Japan provides US$50 million to ASEAN Center for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases

At the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Suga announced programs on simplifying entry procedures for foreigners, helping training assistance for 1,000 apprentices in three years as well as promoting skilled human resources for regional countries.

ASEAN and Japanese leaders acknowledged outcomes in implementing the 2018-2022 action plan, Vision Statement on ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, with 95% of action lines deployed.

ASEAN countries welcomed Japan’s initiatives and proposals for substantive cooperation at the ASEAN 3 special summit on COVID-19 in last April. ASEAN highly appreciated Japan’s commitment of US$1 million to the ASEAN COVID-19 response fund, and the country's support of US$50 million to the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.

ASEAN and Japan will continue their close coordination in implementing the ASEAN-Japan Joint Statement on connectivity adopted in 2018, integrating the implementation of the ASEAN 2025 Connectivity Master Plan into Japan's Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure. ASEAN proposed Japan continuing to support the bloc’s effort to narrow development gap and boost sub-regional cooperation.

At the event, both sides agreed to adopt the statement on ASEAN-Japan cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), affirmed readiness for coordination in implementing the statement, as well as specific cooperation in priority areas of common concern.

Regarding international and regional situation, the leaders admitted that there remain potential risks threating peace, security and stability in regions in the world, including in the East China Sea and East Sea.

ASEAN and Japan emphasized the importance of dialogue, trust building, law respect, and peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis on international law. Japan affirmed its support to ASEAN’s principle stance on the East Sea.

At the event, the PM announced the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases (ACPHEED) with the support of Japan, contributing to improving healthcare capacity as well as coordination capacity of nations and the region in responding to diseases in the future.

The Japanese PM welcomed the establishment of the center and affirmed to continue support the bloc to put the center into operation soon./.

By Hoang Ha