Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chairman of ASEAN 2020. Photo: VNA

This was the assessment made by Ahmad Ibrahim Almutaqqi, Director of the ASEAN Studies Programme at Indonesia’s Habibie Centre, during an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency.

According to Mr. Ahmad Ibrahim Almutaqqi, since its ASEAN admission on July 28th, 1995, Vietnam has increasingly integrated deeply into the world economy. So far, Vietnam has opened the door to free trade and is now an important part of the global value chain.

He confirmed that this trend is very similar to what ASEAN integration projects are trying to look towards and Vietnam is clearly benefiting from integration. According to Mr. Ibrahim, "We are witnessing a more confident Vietnam on the world stage and making important contributions to the region as ASEAN Chair."

The Indonesian researcher also said that it is encouraging that Vietnam is increasingly seen as one of the leaders of ASEAN. 

Assessing the role and position of ASEAN after 53 years of construction and development, the senior scholar said that ASEAN's greatest achievement is to maintain peace and stability in the region. According to Ibrahim, this is not a "trivial miracle" with the diversity of Southeast Asia, and with many unresolved border disputes, as well as the fact that powerful countries often use the region as an arena for geostrategic competition.

Over the years, the existence of ASEAN has allowed Southeast Asian countries not only to handle these challenges, but also to prosper and thrive, leading countries around the world to increasingly recognize the central role of ASEAN in shaping regional issues.

However, Mr. Ibrahim also said that the immediate challenge facing ASEAN is the COVID-19 pandemic, which causes serious damage not only to the public health but also the regional economy./.

Compiled by BTA