Chief Representative of Indonesia to ASEAN Ade Padmo Sarwono (centre) (Photo courtesy of the diplomat)

In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, he said that ASEAN Chair is not only to further the interests of the member states in particular, but also to advance and promote the ideals of ASEAN in general to make the region more prosperous for its members and continue to maintain peace and stability.

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s achievements since becoming a full member of ASEAN on July 28th, 1995, with a rapid economic development.

“Its impressive economic growth is testament to its vigorous drive towards economic reform,” he underlined.

He believed that Vietnam’s contribution will pay the way for further welfare in the region and the country is a strong advocate to advance cooperation with ASEAN’s external partners.

He went on to say that as ASEAN Chair this year, Vietnam should continue to strengthen development in ASEAN, which also includes incorporating elements that are relevant to the operationalisation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP), as a reaffirmation of ASEAN’s centrality and the significance of ASEAN’s community-building process within the Indo-Pacific region.

"The country must also ensure the relevance of ASEAN’s centrality in the region", he noted, adding that the theme of Vietnam’s Chairmanship, namely cohesive and responsive ASEAN is very precise.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), sustainable development, regional connectivity, and enhancing intra-ASEAN trade are some important matters that ASEAN must address jointly to make ASEAN Community stronger and solid, he added.

Ade said that ASEAN must focus on fighting COVID-19 and addressing its economic and social impacts to the ASEAN people, stressing that Vietnam is able to manage it and introduce ideas for mitigating the pandemic./.

CPV/VNA