AEM-54, Related Meetings: Vietnam Participates and Makes Active Contributions

Vietnam's delegation made active contributions to the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM-54) and related meetings

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Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak (R) speaks at press conference announcing the outcomes of AEM-54 and related meetings. Photo: VNA
Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak speaks at press conference announcing the outcomes of AEM-54 and related meetings. Photo: VNA

The Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien contributed constructive ideas to strengthen economic cooperation among ASEAN member states and between them with their partners at the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM-54) and related meetings in Cambodia, VNA reported.

The delegation highlighted key issues that ASEAN countries need to focus on during negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), address non-tariff barriers in ASEAN countries and boost the implementation of trade facilitation measures to promote intra-bloc trade; while making proposals on economic cooperation orientations between ASEAN and its partners to ensure practical benefits for Vietnamese and ASEAN businesses, thus contributing to the post-pandemic economic recovery process.

The delegation also showed support for host Cambodia’s initiatives towards economic integration in ASEAN and between the bloc with its partners, and committed to work with other member states to fulfil the working programme agreed by all of them.

Vietnamese delegation chaired the 14th Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam Economic Ministers' Meeting
Vietnamese delegation chaired the 14th Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam Economic Ministers’ Meeting. Source: VNews

Within the framework of the AEM-54, the Vietnamese delegation chaired the 14th Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam Economic Ministers’ Meeting (CLMV-EMM 14), during which the CLMV Action Plan for the 2023-2024 period and another for implementing the CLMV Development Framework were approved.

Initiated by Vietnam in 2010, CLMV-EMM mechanism aims to further strengthen economic and trade relations among CLMV countries; coordinate more closely in activities of sub-regional, regional and international forums; narrow the development gap between the four countries and other ASEAN member nations; and speed up the implementation of agreements reached at CLMV summits.

Minister Dien also had working sessions with Cambodian Minister of Commerce Pan Sorasak, Lao Minister of Industry and Trade Malaythong Kommasith, and Timor Leste Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry Jose Lucas da Silva.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the outcomes of the events on September 18 evening, Pan Sorasak stated that this ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting aimed to continue perfecting the working programme on the building of the ASEAN Economic Community during Cambodia’s 2022 ASEAN Chairmanship year with the slogan of “ASEAN A.C.T.: Addressing Challenges Together”.

Cambodia is looking to fulfil the remaining 14 out of 19 economic priorities set for this year to help ASEAN create a strong foundation in digital connectivity, science and technology, narrowing the development and competitiveness gap among member countries, increasing the bloc’s resilience and competitiveness, and promoting inclusive integration, as well as growth and development of the bloc, he said.

The AEM-54 and related meetings took place in Siem Reap province from September 11-18.

Economic ministers of ASEAN and partners also held consultations on September 17 – 18 as part of the AEM-54 and related meetings.

As a leading trade partner of the US in the region, Vietnam said it has made active contributions to the implementation of the ASEAN – US initiatives. It also called on the US to cooperate with the bloc more strongly in the spheres matching their potential such as energy transition and digital transformation.

The ASEAN - EU economic ministers' consultation in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on September 18. Photo: VNA
The ASEAN – EU economic ministers’ consultation in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on September 18. Photo: VNA

At another consultation, economic ministers of ASEAN and the EU discussed the possibility of cooperation activities in the fields benefiting both sides like supply chain connectivity, e-commerce, green technology and services. They adopted a trade and investment work programme for 2022 – 2023.

Meanwhile, ASEAN and Japan scrutinised the implementation of the ASEAN – Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and economic partnership activities within such frameworks as the ASEAN – Japan Economic Resilience Action Plan and the two sides’ 10-year Strategic Economic Cooperation Roadmap. They also talked new proposals for next year submitted by Japan.

Officials of ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand discussed negotiations on the upgrade of the ASEAN – Australia – New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANFTA) to ensure that after upgraded, this deal will continue creating added value for the parties’ trade, investment, and business ties.

They agreed to make utmost efforts to basically finalise the negotiations in 2022 and also recognised the implementation of the economic cooperation support programme under the AANFTA.

Vietnam stressed the importance of upgrading the contents that will generate practical added value to all parties to help consolidate regional supply chain, boost post-pandemic economic recovery, and promote sustainable development.

Hannah Nguyen