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Vietnam attends EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Le Thi Thu Hang attended the second EU Indo-Pacific Ministerial Forum in Stockholm on May 13.

Speaking at the event, Hang said that the global economy is at a crucial turning point, from quantity-based to quality-based growth, and from a resources-based to a knowledge-based economy.

In the process of cooperation in transition and dealing with global challenges, with the three keywords of “cooperation, coordination and connectivity”, countries need to have a suitable approach so as to overcome differences, meet the needs of the parties, and create a favourable environment for businesses and people, stressed Hang.

From Vietnam's experience in economic development and international integration, she highlighted three “balance” factors that need to be ensured, namely between obligations and capabilities; between self-reliance, and openness, economic integration and linkages; and between transformation and stability, she said, adding that the process of green and digital transformation must ensure financial sustainability and social stability, energy security and food security.

The official affirmed that Vietnam appreciates European partners’ financial commitments on climate change and hopes for their continued support to achieve the net zero emission target.

She also reaffirmed Vietnam’s commitments to the Asia-Europe Partnership, and called on countries to coordinate in resuming activities of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) for peace, cooperation and development.

The ministerial forum, co-chaired by Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom and High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles, offered a chance for foreign ministers of European countries and those in the Asia-Pacific region to share opinions on and assess opportunities, challenges and prospects for cooperation, and propose initiatives and solutions to enhance connectivity and promote coordination in addressing common issues.

Josep Borrell expressed his hope that the forum will become a regular channel of dialogue connecting European and Indo-Pacific countries.

Delegates shared concerns over complex and multi-dimensional security challenges affecting the two regions, affirmed commitments to international order based on international law, and agreed to strengthen cooperation in response to common challenges to ensure regional security and facilitate development.

They highlighted the importance of maritime security cooperation, and ensuring freedom of navigation and aviation in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the waters of the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, including the East China Sea and the East Sea./.