31/03/2019 08:01 GMT+7 print

Vietnam attends 32nd ASEAN-US Dialogue

Deputy Foreign Minister and head of Vietnam ASEAN SOM Nguyen Quoc Dung led a Vietnamese delegation to the 32nd ASEAN-US Dialogue held in Washington DC from March 27-28.

The annual foreign deputy ministerial-level conference aimed to review cooperation between ASEAN and the US, discuss measures to further bolster their partnership, and compared notes on regional and global issues of common concern.

In his speech on maritime security cooperation, Deputy FM Dung said that this field has become very important and a topic discussed at almost regional cooperation forums, saying that there have been some positives in the work, especially those in negotiations between ASEAN and China on a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

He called on ASEAN, the US and their partners to further expand cooperation through ASEAN-led cooperation mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit (EAS) the ASEAN Defence Minister's Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and the Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum (EAMF).

He reaffirmed ASEAN's stance of self-restraint, non-militarisation and peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and soon achieve the COC

At the dialogue, representatives from ASEAN member states and the US highlighted the importance of the ASEAN-US strategic partnership for security and prosperity in the region.

They expressed their pleasure with the progress in implementing the action plan for 2016-2020.

The US is now the third largest trade partner of ASEAN with total trade turnover reaching 234.2 billion USD. It is the five biggest investor of ASEAN with total FDI hitting 4.3 billion USD.

The two sides affirmed that they will fully tap their potential and strength to promote comprehensive cooperation.

They also identified a number of priority areas in cooperation, including fighting terrorism and transnational crime and human trafficking; cyber security; trade and investment; digital connectivity; information technology and communications; smart city; energy; infrastructure, sub-region development; humanitarian assistance and disaster management; and education and student exchange.

The US reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN in its foreign policy, expressing its desire for ASEAN to successfully build the ASEAN Community, and promote its central role in the regional architecture.

Meanwhile, ASEAN appreciated the US’s commitments, showing the wish to continue to enhance comprehensive cooperation, and dialogues at regional and international forums.

ASEAN said the US’s development cooperation programmes with ASEAN are being implemented effectively, such as the Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA), the US - ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) initiative, the ASEAN-US Connect initiative, the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI), Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI), and the ASEAN-U.S. Partnership for Good Governance, Equitable and Sustainable Development and Security (PROGRESS) project

ASEAN welcomes the US’s proposals on new development cooperation programmes in the next period.

Participates also discussed regional and international situations and shared information on regional cooperation processes promoted by the parties, with focus on Indo-Pacific cooperation.