Vietnam’s 25 years of ASEAN membership: International experts speak highly of Vietnam's role

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Vietnam’s ASEAN membership; ambassadors, international experts and scholars speak highly of Vietnam’s role in ASEAN’s development.
In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency in the Philippines, Noel Servigon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Philippines to ASEAN, said Vietnam is an invaluable member of the ASEAN community of nations and has actively introduced a number of important initiatives and led efforts that continue to enrich the ASEAN agenda and experience.

This year, comes the task of negotiating numerous successor Plans of Action with Dialogue Partners, as well as with the United Nations. Noel Servigon stated that the Philippines appreciates Vietnam’s leadership in ensuring that these plans of action are finalized within the year and will contribute to the further strengthening of ASEAN’s external relations while upholding the primacy of ASEAN centrality.

“Vietnam is increasingly becoming a ‘poster-child’ of what embracing ASEAN’s ideals and values can bring to the people”.
Head of the ASEAN Studies Program at Indonesia's Habibie Centre Ahmad Ibrahim Almutaqqi.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN Ade Padmo Sarwono said that as the ASEAN Chair this year, Vietnam has proved its capability in leading ASEAN at a challenging time.

Ambassador Sarwono stressed that the role of the ASEAN Chair 2020 not only promotes the interests of member countries but also fosters ASEAN ideals to create a more prosperous community and maintains peace and stability in the region.

He said Vietnam has contributed significantly to ASEAN’s development and prosperity and has strongly supported cooperation between ASEAN and its partners over the past 25 year.

Vietnam hosts the 11th and 12th ASEAN Summits in Hanoi during the country’s term of a rotating chair of the bloc and marking its 15 years since joining ASEAN. Photo: Duc Tam / VNA

High-level leaders of ASEAN member countries attend the signing ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on building ASEAN Charter, December 12, 2005. Photo: VNA

Flag raising ceremony marks the establishment of the ASEAN Community in Hanoi, December 31, 2015. Photo: Thong Nhat / VNA

The 2nd ASEAN-China Youth Exchange Visit under the theme "Education and Leadership" in Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 26-30, 2016. Photo: Pham Kien / VNA 

An ASEAN Village was created in Ho Chi Minh City to mark the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in 2017. Photo: Thanh Vu / VNA

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) held various activities as part of the ASEAN Family Day 2018 in Hanoi, with the participation of MOFA officials and ambassadors of ASEAN member nations with their wives and family members. Photo: Duong Giang / VNA

The Ministry of Information and Communications coordinated with the People's Committee of Can Tho City to organize the Photos and Reportage - Documentary Films Exhibition in the ASEAN community in Vietnam in 2019. Photo: Ngoc Thien / VNA

The Vietnamese flag is flying alongside the flags of other Southeast Asian countries at SEA Games 25. Photo: VNA

Following the closing ceremony of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, the host country of ASEAN in 2019, handed the chairmanship hammer to his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc. Photo: Thong Nhat / VNA

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the online Special ASEAN+3 Summit with China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) on the COVID-19 response in Hanoi. Photo: Thong Nhat / VNA

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs the online Special ASEAN Summit on the COVID-19 response in Hanoi. Photo: Thong Nhat / VNA

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and other cabinet members press the ceremonial button to launch the ASEAN 2020 website during the launch of Vietnam's ASEAN chairmanship year. Photo: Thong Nhat / VNA

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the 21st ASEAN - Japan Summit in Singapore in November 2018 within the framework of the 33rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings. Photo: Thong Nhat / VNA

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan received the symbolic gavel signaling the start of the AIPA Chair role from Speaker of the Thai House of Representatives Chuan Leekpai at the closing ceremony of the 40th General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 40) in Bangkok in 2019. Photo: Trong Duc / VNA

Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh and representatives of member states attended the signing ceremony of the CPTPP in Santiago, Chile in 2018. Photo: VNA

Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung presented a symbolic gift representing Vietnam’s medical equipment support for Lao to fight COVID-19 in Hanoi on April 3. Photo: Duong Giang / VNA

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung presented a symbolic gift representing Vietnam’s medical equipment support for Cambodia in April. Photo: Duong Giang / VNA

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung presents medical supplies to Malaysia during a handover ceremony in May. Photo: Van Diep / VNA

Dr Hoo Chiew Ping, Senior Lecturer in Strategic Studies and International Relations under the National University of Malaysia (UKM), said that since joining ASEAN, Vietnam has been able to maximize the benefits of the ASEAN platforms. These include regional integration, regional identification and the political reconciliation which resulted in Vietnam’s eventual successful market and economic development, both at the intra-ASEAN and ASEAN dialogue partner levels.

Vietnam has made great contributions to economic growth and stability in ASEAN, Malaysian Professor Yeah Kim Leng said in a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency’s reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

Vietnam has played an active role in building a common community in ASEAN since it became a member of the bloc and has increased its stature in recent years, according to Dr Balaz Szanto from Webster University Thailand.

He said that 2020 has been full of challenges for the world and the region, with many emerging problems such as the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions to developed economies. Vietnam’s chairmanship of ASEAN this year has been full of difficulties.

Facing that fact, Vietnam will continue to demonstrate its guiding role at the regional forum, including promoting a unanimous view regarding emerging regional issues, according to Szanto.

He believes that as the ASEAN Chair in 2020, Vietnam will create a mechanism for promoting common prosperity among member nations so that no one is left behind.

“Vietnam is a respectable, trustworthy, and constructive member of ASEAN,” Frederick Kliem, an analyst with the Centre for Multilateralism Studies at the Singaporean-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), said in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency, during which he emphasized that the country is now an integral part of the bloc after 25 years of membership.

Despite not being among ASEAN’s founding members, Vietnam is progressing quickly in the region and is playing an important role in connecting the five founding member states of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand and also with CLM countries (Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar).

“Vietnam has an active and leading role in the ASEAN political-security community,” he said, “particularly in regional and maritime security”.

“Vietnam has played a huge role in ASEAN development over the last 25 years", Grigory Trofimchuk, Chairman of the Russia-based Expert Council of the Eurasian Foundation for Support of Scientific Research, said.

“Vietnam has not only proved itself a responsible member of ASEAN but also taken a leadership role of the bloc,” he told the Vietnam News Agency correspondent in Russia during an interview on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Vietnam’s ASEAN membership (July 28, 1995 - 2020).

“Vietnam contributed to heightening ASEAN’s position globally,” he said, adding that Russian experts recognize peace initiatives by Vietnam to regional issues.

He noted that Vietnam has done a lot to help Moscow foster effective cooperation with ASEAN and promote Russian’s interests in the region.

“Thanks to the free trade agreement with Vietnam, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has expanded its presence in Southeast Asia,” Trofimchuk said, adding that it is necessary to maximize free trade between the EEU and ASEAN and create a stable playground for both sides in economy and security.


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