Sustainable Development
ASEM-5: good chance to highlight Viet Nam on world map
Viet Nam will host the fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be attended by leaders from 38 countries and the European Commission (EC) in the two continents.

As the very important event is approaching, British Ambassador to Viet Nam Robert Gordon has granted the Viet Nam News Agency (VNA) an interview.
Q. What do you think about Viet Nam's preparations for this summit?
I think that Viet Nam is preparing this summit very carefully and very well. This is clearly an enormously important event for Viet Nam and it is quite a logistic challenge because heads of state and senior government leaders from different countries will attend the meeting. Thus, this will be a chance to highlight Viet Nam onto the world map and to showcase Viet Nam.
Q. Have you any comments on ASEM-5�s theme, �Further Revitalising and Substantiating the Asia-Europe Partnership?�
Well, I think it is very necessary because the ASEM is a unique forum for getting leaders of Asia and Europe together every two years and we have more and more issues that unite us. China is becoming an extremely important player in the world economy and Viet Nam is growing strongly and many other Asian countries are also experiencing such a good time. It is very important for us in Europe to understand what is going on here, and especially for our leaders to hear directly from your leaders.
I think that the agenda actually has three pillars. It is not just the economic pillar, but it also includes the political and cultural pillars. There will be discussions and proposals on all of these three different topics. Therefore, perhaps, it is not appropriate for me to say now, before the summit, exactly what areas our leaders will decide. However, I am sure that they will have a very intense discussion of all three pillars and they will come up with some good proposals to carry forward the ASEM process in the new enlarged format. It is now going to be 38 countries and the EC rather than previously when it was 25.
Q. What are the challenges for ASEM after its first enlargement?
I think that ASEM leaders still have work to do to connect their work to the concerns of every day people and to be better understood by the ordinary populations of our respective countries and continents. One challenge is to popularise the ASEM to show that it is relevant to every day people's concerns. The other challenge is procedural - already an ASEM of 39 will be quite a big body and it will be quite a challenge to make it work properly. One has to think quite carefully about how to adapt the ASEM structure to make it as effective as possible. Possibly, in the future, there may be the challenge of further enlargement that other countries may want to join the ASEM. In this case, it will be even more necessary to adapt the structures of ASEM to make them more effective.
Q. What about the ASEM�s current structure?
I think that there are certain steps that the leaders might want to examine about ASEM�s educational fund and one or two bodies that are dependent on ASEM and see how they can make these as effective as possible to bring, in this case, young people together in an educational context from the two continents. But, there will be some discussions I think about whether to have a secretariat - a special full-time secretariat for ASEM and at the moment there are different views as to whether this is a good idea or not such a good idea. So, we will have to be imaginative about how to help carry forward the momentum of ASEM so that it isn't just every two years that our leaders are talking - but in the in-between periods, certain ASEM initiatives can be carried forward independently. So, there are various different approaches being discussed at the moment and we will wait for the ASEM summit to see which of these will be included in the final outcome.
Q. What is your assessment of the Viet Nam-Britain bilateral ties?
I am very happy that they are on a very good footing. Obviously, we would like them to be even better and our representative to ASEM is going to be John Prescott, who is Deputy Prime Minister, and we will hope that he will have a chance to talk to key Vietnamese ministers about certain aspects of our relationship, particularly aid as the UK is now becoming a very important donor of bilateral aid to Viet Nam, and the educational aspect where the British Council hopes to expand its activities in Viet Nam. So, there are many different issues which we want to discuss with the Vietnamese leaders, but we are very happy with the way our relations are developing.
Q. Some say that bilateral ties between our countries focus too much on education and culture. What measures, in your view, should be taken to boost Viet Nam-Britain economic and political ties?
I do not agree. Our relationship with Viet Nam has many different dimensions and the commercial and economic dimension is very important. In fact, we have the biggest foreign investor in Viet Nam � BP, and we have the biggest foreign employer in Viet Nam � Prudential, which employs 40,000 Vietnamese staff. Therefore, we are already quite a big player in Viet Nam, but of course, we would like to encourage more British investment in Viet Nam and more two-way trade.

Posted articles
Sustainable Development

ASEM-5: good chance to highlight Viet Nam on world map

Viet Nam will host the fifth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be attended by leaders from 38 countries and the European Commission (EC) in the two continents..


Developing ASEM cooperation is a common desire of Asia-Europe

European Union members and the European Commission attach importance to the process of Asia-Europe cooperation, Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the EU Phan Thuy Thanh told Vietnam News Agency correspondent before leaving for the fifth ASEM Summit in Viet Nam on Oct. 8 & 9.



The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the Ministry of Culture and Information of Vietnam (MOCI) and the French-speaking Community of Belgium in Hanoi have jointly organized the Asia-Europe Seminar on Cultural Diversity and Cultural Exchange in the Framework of Globalization, which is among various activities welcoming the Fifth Asia � Europe Meeting (ASEM 5) to be held in Hanoi on 8-9 October, 2004.


Asem Youth Forum on Sustainable Development

From 28th June to 2nd July 2004, the �ASEM Youth Forum on Sustainable Development: Strengthening Youth Cooperation between Asia and Europe� was held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. The forum was organized by Viet Nam�s Youth National Committee and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF). That was the third event organized in Viet Nam among activities towards ASEM 5 Summit Meeting, which will be held in Ha Noi in October 2004 and the first activity co-hosted by ASEF and Viet Nam on the occasion of the Summit.


Asia-Europe People�s Forum focuses discussion on human security

Along with trade and investment issues, human security is also high on the agenda of the 5th ASEM People's Forum (AEPF), said Andy Rutherford of the United Kingdom-based One World Action, a member of the AEPF International Organising Committee.

Economic integration

Viet Nam hosts ASEAN Trade Fair 2004 to promote cooperation

This year's ASEAN Trade Fair is introducing regional economic achievements to a global audience while demonstrating the determination of member countries to strengthen their cooperation and to establish an integrated economic environment, said Deputy Prime Minister Vu Khoan on Tuesday at the ASEAN Trade Fair 2004..


VIETNAM - An Active Member of ASEM

In pursuit of a foreign policy of openness, multilateralization and diversification of foreign relations, Vietnam has been actively integrating itself into the region and the world. Having become a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July 1995 and being aware of the potential for cooperation in investment, trade, science and technology, and human resources development between Asia and Europe, Vietnam has made contribution to giving birth to Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and was one of the 26 founding partners of the process at the inaugural Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 1) held in Bangkok, Thailand in March 1996.


© Copyright 2004 Vietnam Development Gateway, All right Reserved, Legal & Privacy Notices.
E-mail:  —   Tel: 84-04-5373873