(Photo: Nguyen Hong/baoquocte.vn)
At a virtual ceremony in Indonesia, ASEAN’s headquarters, on Saturday, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said ASEAN has thrived to a big family of 650 million people with a combined GDP of 3 trillion USD. By embracing 10 members, ASEAN has turned Southeast Asia from a land of discord to a land of concord, from confrontation to cooperation, from poverty to dynamic development, and from visions to actions, he said.
The official said with the “Think Community, Act Community” approach, Vietnam is committed to building a people-centered ASEAN whose solidarity and power is important to the region and the world.
Also on Saturday, the Vietnamese Embassy in South Africa hoisted the ASEAN flag to mark the bloc’s 53rd founding anniversary.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Hoang Van Loi said that as ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam has taken its leading role to seize opportunities and effectively respond to challenges in the “Cohesive and Responsive” spirit. As South Africa is planning to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) with ASEAN this year, relations between South Africa and ASEAN in general and its members in particular, are expected to see new and strong development in economy and trade and coordination at regional and international forums, Loi added.
In a ceremony in Caracas, Venezuela, the same day, Vietnamese Ambassador Le Viet Duyen said ASEAN is committed to promoting goods and capital exchanges among members and accelerating negotiations on a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between ASEAN and its partners — China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia, and New Zealand.
On this occasion, embassies of ASEAN nations donated medical equipment to support Venezuela in the fight against COVID-19.
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