Vietnam took over the ASEAN Chairmanship for 2020 from Thailand on November 4 at the 35th ASEAN Summit. During the one-year tenure which begins on January 1, Vietnam will be tasked with outlining orientations for the regional bloc to enhance connectivity and overcome challenges
The ASEAN Chairmanship will bring Vietnam plenty of major opportunities to raise its international status.
2020 is a key year in the realization of ASEAN Vision 2025 and marks 25 years of Vietnam’s participation in ASEAN. In 2020, Vietnam will focus on strengthening internal connectivity and resilience against challenges in order to boost ASEAN’s development.
Vietnam maintains ASEAN’s attractions
This year, all ASEAN activities are aimed at strengthening the bloc’s sustainability. The regional bloc focuses on spurring sustainable economic growth, capitalizing on the 4th Industrial Revolution, building “Digital ASEAN”, and connecting “transparent ASEAN”.
The Association has improved social welfare and its resilience to natural disasters, promoted ASEAN cultural identity, and connected people inside and outside the region. ASEAN has attracted a large number of investors. Despite trade wars between the US and China and the US and EU and recession of the global economy, foreign investment in ASEAN surged 5.3% last year, creating momentum for the regional grouping to enhance its central role and for regional countries to boost their sustainable growth.
Being ASEAN Chair, Vietnam will continue Thailand’s agenda of sustainable development, regional peace, stability and cooperation, and take advantage of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
2020 will be an important year for the negotiation of the Code of Conduct of Parties in East Sea (COC).
Being ASEAN Chair and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2020 to 2021, Vietnam will have opportunities to develop appropriate approaches to COC negotiations between China and ASEAN. Vu Ho, Director of the Department of ASEAN Affairs and Vice Secretary General of the ASEAN National Committee, said: “It’s now the right time for ASEAN to move ahead. Vietnam holds the ASEAN Chairmanship and celebrates its 25 years joining the bloc.
This is an opportunity for Vietnam to boost the development of the ASEAN Community. Vietnam will be responsible for leading ASEAN to develop sustainably and increase its international prestige and role as well as contribute to global development.”
Responsibility and opportunities are in parallel
During its 25 years in ASEAN, Vietnam has always been an active, responsible member and has now become a key member. Vietnam held the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2010, has held a previous seat on the UN Security Council, and has contributed to boosting ASEAN’s role.
Countries have high hopes for Vietnam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020, said ASEAN Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi.
"Vietnam has progressed well for the last 15 years. Vietnam's economic growth reached 7-8% and it was one of the major economies now in ASEAN. We think that the Secretariat will work closely with Vietnamese Chair next year in order to develop the programs we have already indicated. We look forward to Vietnam's Chairmanship and we're sure that Vietnam will also be looking to that," he said.
In 2020 ASEAN will be half way to completing the Master Plan on building the ASEAN Community by 2025. Holding the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020 will be of great importance to reviewing the organization’s performance and devising future orientations. In the wake of its successful ASEAN Chairmanship in 2010, Vietnam is confident it can fulfill its duties next year and meet the expectations of the other ASEAN member states.