Vietnam chairs the ASEAN + 3 Special Summit on COVID-19 response. (Photo: congthuong.vn)

“We successfully link ASEAN countries’ efforts in joining policies of all,” said a representative from the Multilateral Trade Policy Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade. 

Accordingly, under the chairmanship of Vietnam, ASEAN countries have activated online communication channels to ensure contacts, continuous connectivity and coordination with external partners to exchange necessary information for effective prevention of COVID-19.

Specifically, Vietnam has actively organized special online discussions on COVID-19 prevention. On April 14th, Vietnam hosted the ASEAN + 3 Special Summit on COVID-19 response, with the participation of heads of ASEAN countries and the 3 partner countries of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Upcoming will be the special online ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN +3 special online Economic Ministers Meeting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Joint Declaration of the special online conference on April 14th was agreed and issued, which represents ASEAN's highest-level commitments on joint efforts of ASEAN and its partners in upholding solidarity, cooperation and mutual support to retain the spread of the pandemic and deal with its negative impacts to societies and economies.

Following these statements, the ASEAN Special High Commission also made specific recommendations emphasizing the process of economic recovery and re-establishing global value and supply chains, including measures to enhance the attraction of foreign direct investment into ASEAN, such as: eliminating negative investment and facilitating business, eliminating non-tariff barriers, especially in key industries of food and beverage, agriculture and healthcare; supporting businesses affected by the pandemic such as those in tourism, aviation, hotels, entertainment and related fields; reducing the tax burden on the business community affected by the pandemic; carrying out vocational training programs and training in the public sector for developing skills in policy and management reforms; and encouraging transactions via e-commerce and digital economic applications.

In addition, Vietnam has been actively working with ASEAN countries to share health information related to effective prevention mechanisms, especially in building an ASEAN internal network of public health experts and those between ASEAN and external partners to exchange information and sharing experience in treating cases; prevent fake and wrong news; strengthen cooperation to maintain regional supply chains; establish the ASEAN Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the ASEAN BioDioaspora Regional Virtual Centre; and link ASEAN EOC with the ASEAN Plus Three Field Epidemiology Training Network (ASEAN +3 FETN) 

With the spirit of friendly and co-operative international cooperation, Vietnam is not only active and proactive in sharing effective prevention experiences, but it also has good actions in supporting neighboring countries, especially ASEAN members such as Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, in terms of medical equipment and protective clothing.

Vietnam is also one of the countries with achievements in the COVID-19 fight recognized by the international community. It has proposed the establishment of the ASEAN Fund for COVID-19 prevention and control, and a stockpile of medical supplies to respond to emergencies in the event of a shortage of medical supplies or fighting fake information. Additionally, Vietnam has also called for the development of an emergency response procedure based on WHO guidelines to effectively and synchronously apply quarantine measures in the case of international entry.

Besides, Vietnam has been actively and proactively doing its best in fighting COVID-19, as well as sharing and helping countries in the fight. This demonstrates the high responsibility, the spirit of cooperation and solidarity of Vietnam, which helps the country enhance its position in the ASEAN region and the international arena, especially the determination to maintain the process of economic, trade and investment cooperation in the region./.

Compiled by BTA