VN calls for strengthening free trade at ASEAN+3 Summit
13:19 | 04/11/2019
VGP – Leaders from ASEAN member States and three Dialogue Partners as well as the Secretary-General of ASEAN attended the ASEAN Plus Three (ASEAN+3) Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 4.

Leaders of 10 ASEAN member countries and China at the 22nd ASEAN Plus 3 Summit in Bangkok, Thailand on November 4. Photo: VGP

At the summit, the leaders affirmed the importance of the ASEAN+3 mechanism for peace, security and prosperity in the region, which has developed on the basis of principles of trust, respect and shared interests.

The region, grouping 10 ASEAN member countries and three East Asian partners, namely China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, is home to 2.2 billion and accounts for one fourth of the global GDP.

The two-way trade between ASEAN and the three partners reached US$869.1 billion in 2018, up 6.8% against the previous year and accounting for 31% of ASEAN’s total trade value.

The leaders expressed their pleasure at the cooperation outcomes between ASEAN and the three partners, especially in implementation of the action plan for 2018-2022.

They voiced support for an open, transparent, inclusive and rule-based multilateral trading system as well as for efforts to soon conclude negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in a bid to sent an positive signal on economic cooperation to the wider world.

The leaders also discussed measures to boost cooperation in such fields like agriculture, forestry, healthcare, social security, climate change adaptation, natural disaster prevention among others.

Speaking at the summit, PM Phuc called on the ASEAN+3 countries to accelerate multilateral cooperation, free trade, connectivity and capacity to cope with the complicated situation in the region and the world.

He suggested that the ASEAN+3 countries should step up economic-financial cooperation, increase the effectiveness and readiness of the Chiangmai Initiative, and enhance the capacity of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) so that the Office could provide necessary policy recommendations.

The summit concluded with the adoption of the ASEAN+3 Statement on Connecting the Connectivities Initiative./.

By Huong Giang

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