In his article, also marking the first ASEAN Day since the ASEAN
Community (AC) took shape last year, Minh said the formation of the AC,
the first body of its kind in Asia, has become a milestone of regional
He noted that the AC was formed in the context of complex global events,
“as waves of extremism, terrorism, conflicts and uncertainties rise”
not only in hot spots like the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, but
also in Europe and America, which were traditionally considered
Against this backdrop, Minh juxtaposed the peace and stability in the
region maintained thanks to “the endeavours of each member country as
well as their concerted resolve and efforts.”
The AC has been striving for comprehensive integration in politics,
security, economy, culture and society, and since its historic founding,
ASEAN member countries have come closer to each other and harmonised
their own interests with regional ones, Minh wrote.
The benefits of intra-bloc cooperation – which Minh dubbed in “the three
Ps of Peace, Prosperity and People – have been borne out by almost 50
years of partnership.
Although the ASEAN Vision 2025 was only launched in January 1, 2016, it
has already logged encouraging achievements, according to Minh.
– On the politics-security pillar, 140 out of 290 action lines set in
the ASEAN Blueprint 2025 have been implemented effectively, highlighting
the group’s strength in promoting dialogues and building trust and
codes of conduct.
Therefore, despite complicated regional developments, especially in the
East Sea, cooperation mechanisms led by ASEAN such as the ASEAN Regional
Forum (ARF), the East Asia Summit (EAS), the ASEAN Defence Ministerial
Meeting Plus (ADMM+), ASEAN+1 and ASEAN+3 have been important frameworks
in maintaining peace, preventing conflicts, promoting cooperation and
– Economically, amidst the sluggish global economic recovery, ASEAN’s
economy is forecast to continue to grow at about 5 percent annually in
the next decade, nearly doubling the world’s average.
The formation of the AC has turned ASEAN into a united entity, the third
largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest globally, which is
expected to reach fourth place in 2050.
Notably, although global foreign investment dwindled by 16 percent in
2014, the capital poured into the region has increased over three
consecutive years, raising ASEAN as a bright spot in the global map of
foreign investment attraction, Minh wrote, adding that a market of 635
million people and GDP of over 2.6 trillion USD is expected to make
ASEAN a promising destination for foreign investors.
– In terms of culture and society, Minh expressed hope that with the
“people-oriented” and “people-centred” motto, benefits afforded by the
AC could be mirrored in all areas, ranging from education and culture to
tourism, environment and social welfare.
He praised the importance that ASEAN attaches to sustainable development
and climate change response, as a demonstration of the group’s
farsighted vision for a better future for generations of ASEAN citizens.
“Against the gloomy global panorama, the AE has emerged as a bright spot
where the everlasting values of cooperation, dialogues and integration
were affirmed,” he said.
“These above-mentioned successes have not only proven the soundness of
the path consistently pursued by ASEAN over the past half a decade but
also consolidated ASEAN member countries’ resolve to reach a brighter
future via connectivity and integration.”
The deputy PM noted that no regional organisation has as many
achievements in attracting strategic interventions for common peace,
stability and development and the AC has elevated ASEAN’s strategic
position and values while continuing to contribute to balancing
interests of all big countries in the region and promoting ASEAN’s
central role in the regional evolving architecture.
ASEAN’s special meetings with its important partners like the US, Russia
and China also manifests the bloc’s increasingly significant role. “The
upcoming ASEAN Summit, together with the ASEAN Foreign Ministers
Meeting (AMM-49) last July, will continue to reassure ASEAN’s prestige
and special mission in creating a shared playground and rules of the
game for partners both in and outside the region,” Minh wrote.
To date, up to 86 partner countries have sent ambassadors to ASEAN and
the bloc recently agreed to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
(TAC) of Chile, Iran, Egypt and Morocco, and is considering other
“The fact that many countries have wished to expand and deepen their
ties with ASEAN, and many others outside the region have expressed their
hope to establish partnerships with the group, also affirm ASEAN’s
supre-regional role and position,” Minh noted.
ASEAN has put aside its own interests to raise its strong voice on
issues of international concern, particularly those regarding
cooperation, sustainable development, anti-terrorism, climate change
response, natural disaster mitigation and disease combat.
Minh remarked that ASEAN has been known for its “unity in diversity”,
mainly attributable to the intra-bloc solidarity, especially its
capacity to overcome differences between member countries.
But, he added, “Recent complicated developments have raised doubts about
the bloc’s solidarity and consensus. Now, more than ever, ASEAN member
countries need to join hands to carry forward the group’s centrality and
consolidate their solidarity to protect their shared and legitimate
One of the most important and durable foundations for real benefits of a
nation is that the nation’s benefits need to have the harmonious
combination and relevance with common healthy goals and legitimate
benefits of the region and the world, he noted.
At the recent AMM 49, the strength of unity was proved as it swept away
impediments sparked by differences and outsiders’ influences. With
tireless efforts, patience, and a mindset that respects mutual benefits,
the joint communiqué and the six-point join statement of the ASEAN
Foreign Minister on maintaining peace, security and stability in the
region reasserted the basic principles of the bloc’s cooperation that
are grounded on the respect of international law and the will to work
for the common Community. This illuminated that for the common destiny
and interest of the 10 ASEAN member countries are always bigger than
Solidarity and consensus are typical values and basic principles of
ASEAN that each member country is responsible for preserving, he added.
Minh noted that the building of the ASEAN Community occurred
concurrently with Vietnam’s implementation of the 12 th Party Congress’s
foreign policy, which regards ASEAN as a strategic priority.
“Vietnam’s destiny is associated with that of ASEAN, which serves as a
bridge linking Vietnam with the region and the world and contributes to
establishing the country’s current position. ASEAN is also a place where
Vietnam displays its stance and calls for international support of
issues of the country’s concern,” he wrote.
In economic terms, ASEAN is Vietnam’s third largest export-import
market, which gathers up to six out of ten free trade agreements (FTA)
Vietnam signed with foreign countries. Thus, ASEAN helps Vietnam take
advantage of cooperation with other member nations to serve its
socio-economic targets and eye regional standards in such areas as
education, tourism, healthcare and labours.
In response, Minh remarked, Vietnam has exerted all-out efforts to
contribute to the group’s success and take on all responsibilities,
showing itself as a prestigious, proactive, dynamic and responsible
member in the common house.
He suggested that more investments should be injected into resource
development and communications in order to bring the ASEAN Community
closer to each local citizen and business.
With a look to the future, Minh said that despite “a galaxy of
difficulties and challenges ahead, with experience from the past 50
years, ASEAN has enough confidence and momentum to overcome these
hindrances to continue building a community of strength and solidarity.”
“Vietnam always stands ready to work together with people of other ASEAN
member countries in successfully building the ASEAN Community of peace,
stability, cooperation and prosperity,” Minh concluded.