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ASEAN, Pacific Alliance forge stronger ties

Jakarta, May 5 (VNA) – The ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives and the Pacific Alliance (PA)’s Group of External Relations met in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 5, to review the ASEAN-PA relations over the past years and seeking important measures to promote cooperation between the two sides in the future.

The event, the third of its kind, was co-chaired by Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam, head of the Vietnamese delegation to the ASEAN, and Pablo Uria, head of the Bilateral Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile.

Addressing the event, Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam lauded the growing ties between the two organizations as well as PA’s commitments in strengthening relations with ASEAN and the region.

As the coordinator of the ASEAN-PA relations for 2017, Vietnam will exert every effort to bolster affiliation between the two sides, he pledged.

Specifically, in order to effectively implement the ASEAN-PA Framework for Cooperation, the diplomat proposed increasing communications to popularize the content of the document to relevant agencies of both sides, thus encouraging them to join relevant activities and measures.

It is necessary to build a plan to carry out the framework in the 2017-2018 period, focusing on feasible and practical solutions coupled with detailed roadmap and timetable, he added.

Ambassador Nam also proposed that PA countries actively engage in and respond to activities to mark the ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary held in member countries of ASEAN and PA.

Participants at the meeting agreed that bilateral relationship has seen positive progress, especially through the approval of the ASEAN-PA Framework for Cooperation at the ASEAN-PA Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in September 2016 in New York.

The document created a new momentum and the frame to further strengthen ties between the two sides, especially in four prioritized areas, namely economic cooperation; education and people-to-people contacts; science-technology and innovation; and sustainable development.

The meeting welcomed the convening of the ASEAN-PA Global value Chains Seminar in Santiago, Chile last January as an activity to carry out the framework.

ASEAN countries reiterated their policy of expanding relations with outside partners, including those in the PA, noting that it hopes the PA will serve as a bridge connecting ASEAN with Latin America.

The PA praised ASEAN’s experience and role in promoting regional connectivity, saying that it hopes to learn from ASEAN’s lessons in economic connectivity and institution building.
In the time ahead, the two sides agreed to focus efforts on implementing their bilateral cooperation framework by holding specific activities such as joint seminars on member nations’ potentials, cultural exchanges and provision of scholarships for each other’s students.

The PA was formed in 2011 with an aim to promote economic ties between four member countries of Chile, Mexico, Peru and Colombia. The group has a total population of 216 million and per capita GDP of 9,910 USD.

The ASEAN has 10 members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Since the ASEAN and PA set up ties in 2014, they organized three Foreign Ministers’ Meetings and three ambassador-level meetings between ASEAN Committee of Permanent Representatives and PA’s Group of External Relations.