The Hanoitimes - An international seminar on geopolitical transition in the Asia-Pacific and the half-century road of ASEAN took place in Hanoi on June 9.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung said with a 625 million population, ASEAN has a total gross domestic product of nearly 3 trillion USD, ranking seventh worldwide. The bloc records a total annual trade of more than 1 trillion USD and free trade agreements with major regional partners.
Discussing roadmap for the next five decades, scholars shared view that ASEAN also faces challenges such as the fourth industrial revolution and protectionism trend, which requires the bloc to stand united and respond to them.
To achieve goals of the ASEAN Community, which was born on December 31, 2015, Ambassador Claro Suarez Cristobal, Director of the Philippine Foreign Service Institute, suggested investing in human development, particularly young generations, by facilitating creativity and improving their technological know-how.
According to Dung, ASEAN must seek solutions to achieving the goals of building a strong community that brings practical benefits to the people, improve ASEAN’s central role in the region and its voice in the world, boosting internal economic connectivity and trade, enhance the bloc’s competitiveness, and promote social welfares.
In order to continue ASEAN’s central role in promoting security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, Prof. Suchit Bunbongkarn from the Thailand Institute of Security and International Studies suggested enhancing member states’ capacity in political and socio-economic fields.
Leaders of ASEAN member countries should make strong commitments to regional interests, particularly those regarding peace and stability, make political commitments to ASEAN’s interests as well as encourage the public involvement in peace and security stability, he said.
The event was co-organised by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the Foreign Ministry’s Department of Foreign Affairs and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Vietnam.