Hanoi (VNA) – The 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM-52) and the bloc’s dialogues and consultations with partners at the economic ministerial level took place through teleconferencing on August 25.
The event, chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh , was attended by economic ministers of the ASEAN member states, the ASEAN Secretary-General and representatives of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council .
Officials reviewed the implementation of economic initiatives in 2020, when Vietnam is holding the ASEAN Chairmanship. They also looked into developments of COVID-19 and the region’s response to this pandemic, including its ability to roll out a comprehensive recovery plan.
The AEM-52 also discussed recommendations submitted by the group specialised the ASEAN economic integration to the economic ministers, the report by senior economic officials to economic ministers, preparations for dialogues with partners and the regional business community, and the reform process of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Participants considered and approved some main documents submitted by ASEAN senior economic officials, including the ASEAN digital integration index, terms of reference on the connectivity of ASEAN innovation centres, and the guidelines for the promotion of inclusive business in the bloc.
Of those documents, the ASEAN digital integration index and the terms of reference on the connectivity of ASEAN innovation centres are among the 13 priority initiatives raised by Vietnam as ASEAN Chair in 2020.
The remaining initiatives are still under consultation and have their implementation bolstered. They are expected to be completed in the year, as scheduled.
The AEM-52 issued a joint media statement, the Hanoi Plan of Action, the ASEAN Plus Three economic ministers’ joint statement and plan of actions, the ASEAN – Japan economic ministers’ joint statement and plan of action, the ASEAN – China economic ministers’ joint statement, and the ASEAN – Republic of Korea economic ministers’ joint statement.
In addition, the meeting exchanged views on the global and regional economic situation, including economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic remains complex and unpredictable in many ASEAN countries, Vietnam has still been exerting efforts to proceed with meetings at ministry, department and working group levels to sustain operations of the ASEAN economic cooperation framework and step up trade, investment, connectivity and innovation.
The country has proactively proposed and engaged in regional initiatives to push ahead with economic recovery while maintaining regional and global production and supply chains.
Vietnam is holding the ASEAN Chairmanship this year under the theme “Cohesive and Responsive”./.
| Other issues on the table at the AEM-52 included:
+ Orientations for the negotiation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, which is set to be signed in late 2020.
+ The implementation of the ASEAN Economic Committee (AEC) Blueprint 2025, especially the mid-term review so as to align the AEC Blueprint 2025 with the new context in the region and help the bloc to overcome global challenges.
+ The implementation progress of the 13 priorities and initiatives proposed by Vietnam for the ASEAN Year 2020. The realisation of two of them has been completed while the others are now in their final stage of implementation.
+ The bloc’s economic relations with partners such as China, Russia, Japan, Canada, the Republic of Korea, the United States, Hong Kong (China), Australia, New Zealand, and the European Union.