|Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and heads of delegations
to 24th ASEAN - Republic of Korea Summit in Indonesia. (Photo: VNA)
In a recent interview granted to Vietnam New Agency correspondents in Jakarta, Indonesia, he stated that since Vietnam joined ASEAN in 1995, the country has boasted rapid growth, and continues to increase its contributions to regional cooperation and narrowing of the development gap in the region.
In 2020, Vietnam’s leadership as Chair of ASEAN was instrumental in advancing regional cooperation to overcome and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, affirming that propelled by capacity as such, Vietnam played a pivotal role during the 43rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings on September 5-7.
According to the diplomat, the RoK and Vietnam established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2022. President Yoon Suk Yeol made a successful state visit to Vietnam last June, which further boosted the already strong relationship between the two countries.
Vietnam is the RoK’s biggest trading partner in ASEAN while the RoK is the No. 1 investor in Vietnam, he said, adding that the Southeast Asian nation is also his country’s largest official development assistance (ODA) recipient.
“Vietnam is indeed one of the core partners in the RoK’s cooperation with ASEAN,” he affirmed.
Since 2021, Vietnam has been a coordinator for ASEAN-RoK relations, he said, adding it has been vital, adroit and helpful in facilitating dialogue and cooperation between the two sides.
Under Vietnam’s coordinatorship, the RoK and ASEAN successfully adopted a joint declaration on the cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) at the 24th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit on September 6.
He said he personally worked closely with the Ambassador of Vietnam to ASEAN in Jakarta and made joint efforts to expand and develop RoK-ASEAN relations to its fullest potential.
Under Vietnam’s initiative, the two sides will observe and celebrate RoK-ASEAN Day in Hanoi on November 1 this year, he revealed.
“I look forward to continuing working closely with Vietnam as we aim to establish a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between ASEAN and Korea next year,” he noted.
Regarding the East Sea, the RoK diplomat said as the East Sea carries one-third of global shipping, peace and stability in the region, therefore, is vital for ASEAN to become the epicentrum of growth.
"The RoK is committed to upholding the rules-based order in these waters, including the freedom of navigation and overflight, based on international law including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," he stressed.
The RoK is closely observing the progress in the on-going Code of Conduct negotiations, and looks forward to an effective and substantive Code of Conduct that is consistent with international law and respects the rights of third parties, he added./.