ASEAN will promote cooperation in digital transformation

The ASEAN Ministers in charge of digital cooperation approved the ASEAN Digital Transformation Plan until 2025, which promotes the implementation of e-commerce in ASEAN.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung. (Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

In an interview after the 54th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM-54) and related meetings, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said that the meeting took place at a very special time. ASEAN faces many challenges, it can be said that it is extremely difficult, both due to the outbreaks and spread of new variants of the Covid-19 epidemic in the region, and increasingly fierce strategic competition among countries. as well as the complicated situation in the East Sea and the political upheaval in Myanmar.

“In that context, the highlight that the conference achieved was: The more difficult the situation, the more prominent the value of ASEAN and the awareness of the countries on this value is also increasing. Besides, determination. The strength of ASEAN member countries is increasingly strong, resonated with the support and high commitment of partner countries in the region, respecting the central role of ASEAN in this region. very good result,” said the deputy minister.

The second highlight, according to Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung, is the most pressing issue in the region today – the Myanmar issue. This meeting was determined to implement the Five-Point Consensus of the ASEAN Leaders. Despite the difficulties, ASEAN has reached a consensus to appoint the ASEAN Chairman’s Special Envoy for Myanmar, the second Foreign Minister of Brunei. At the same time, ASEAN has also decided to implement humanitarian assistance activities for Myanmar, through the ASEAN Coordination Center for Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Management (AHA) borne by the Secretary-General of ASEAN. coordinator.

Regarding Covid-19, ASEAN affirmed its efforts to implement joint initiatives and continue cooperation plans in epidemic response. ASEAN also received many commitments of cooperation and support from partners to overcome the epidemic, with an increasing number of vaccines for ASEAN countries and post-epidemic economic recovery plans being actively promoted. to push.

Regarding foreign affairs, ASEAN has also achieved a very important milestone, which is agreeing to let the UK become a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN.

In terms of post-pandemic recovery, through this meeting, ASEAN has reached important agreements.

Firstly, ASEAN is determined not to break the supply chain, maintain transactions and trade of other countries unaffected, and create the highest possible conditions in this situation for businesses to maintain trade. trade and investment.

Especially, ASEAN will promote cooperation for digital transformation. The ASEAN Ministers in charge of digital cooperation approved the ASEAN Digital Transformation Plan until 2025. This is huge progress, and countries will accelerate the implementation of e-commerce in ASEAN.

At the same time, ASEAN is determined to take advantage and promote the signed Agreements on trade liberalization, identifying with each other to try to ratify the RCEP Agreement as soon as possible.

Regarding security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea, Deputy Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said that the situation in the East Sea has certain complications.

In that situation, ASEAN still maintains its consistent stance, which is to support and emphasize peace, stability, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region, and building trust. And countries must refrain from actions that escalate tensions, or actions to militarize or re-create islands, or activities that harm the legitimate interests of coastal countries. The countries agreed very highly, upholding the role of international law, including UNCLOS. In particular, it is emphasized that UNCLOS is the framework to regulate the activities of countries at sea and in the ocean. That is very important.

“More importantly, countries agree that the COC must be substantive, comprehensive, and consistent with international law, especially UNCLOS. And the new point is: in the past, this was only the position of ASEAN, but now China has also accepted it. That will guide the COC negotiation process in the coming time,” said the Deputy Minister.