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Vietnam to contribute more to ASEAN: PM Khai

Vietnam will make more contributions to the success of ASEAN.

Vietnam will make more contributions to the success of ASEAN and for peace, stability, development and prosperity of Southeast Asia, Prime Minister Phan Van Khai affirmed in his address on ASEAN Day (August 8) and the 10th anniversary of Vietnam's ASEAN membership

Speaking on the overall achievements of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), PM Khai said, "By firmly upholding the fundamental principles agreed among member countries, applying 'ASEAN mode' flexibly and maintaining the 'unity in diversity' spirit, ASEAN has unified to surmount challenges and disparities to obtain contented achievements.

ASEAN's contribution to maintaining and strengthening the environment of peace and stability and boosting co-operation for mutual development in Southeast Asia is its biggest success.

ASEAN's role and prestige have been increasingly heightened in the region and the world while its voice has been listened to attentively in many important forums, including ARF, ASEM, APEC and the United Nations.

Through co-operation, economies of the group's member countries have developed successfully while the group has become an attractive investment, trade and tourist market and an important economic partner to many big economies in the world.

The relations between ASEAN and outside counterparts have been unceasingly expanded and upgraded.

Today, ASEAN is stepping into a historic turning point. Based on the achievements, the association is exerting greater efforts on the path to build a strong, united and close community backed by the three pillars of security, economy and culture and society. The three pillars work towards building a durable peace to ensure long-term stability, multifaceted co-operation, and prosperous development of each member country and the entire region as well."

On Vietnam's contribution to ASEAN and the benefits the country has harvested from its membership, PM Khai noted, "After joining ASEAN, we have worked hard to support the adding of Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia into the group so it now comprises ten Southeast Asian nations.

Three years since becoming an ASEAN member, we successfully organised the sixth ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, contributing largely to reinforcing solidarity, unity and co-operation within the group, and strengthening the group's prestige and promoting its image in the post-economic crisis in the region.

We fulfilled the tasks while acting as the Presidents of the ASEAN Standing Committee and ARF in the 2000-2001 period.

We devoted ourselves to fortifying the association's basic principles, define orientations of development for the group and draw up strategic policies, such as the Vision 2020, the Hanoi Plan of Acion, the Hanoi Declaration on Narrowing Development Gap, the Sub-region Mekong programme and the Wast-East corridor.

We have made important contributions to bolstering co-operation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, including big countries in the world, to raise the group's prestige in the international arena.

Vietnam's active participation and practical contributions to ASEAN over the past decade have been recognised and praised by other member countries and those outside the group.

ASEAN membership in the past ten years has brought immense and practical benefits to our country in a wide range of areas from politics, security and economy to culture and social affairs. The biggest outcome was that it has helped create a regional environment favourable to our country's national building and defence.

It has promoted the trend of peace, stability and co-operation for development, and the expansion of co-operation between our country with other ASEAN member countries and dialogue partners on a bilateral and mutilateral basis. It has concurrently increased our country's prestige and position in the region and the world at large.

ASEAN has become one of our country's leading economic and trade partners. By the end of 2004, ASEAN member countries invested in 650 projects in Vietnam with a combined registered capital of US $10.9 billion. Trade between Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries reached around US $10 billion.

Co-operation in specialised fields, including security and defence, has brought practical benefits to our country, helping it defend national security, combat transnational crimes and terrorism, fight natural calamities and epidemic diseases, promote cultural and social development activities, reduce poverty and improve the people's living conditions."

Vietnam Net - (11/08/2005)

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