Keynote Address by Her Excellency, Madame Nguyen Phuong Nga, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam at Delhi Dialogue IV
H.E. Mr. S. M. Krishna, Hon’ble External Affairs Minister of India
H.E. Mr. Hor Namhong, Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Cambodia
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of our Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr. Pham Binh Minh, it is my great honor to be here today. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to India’s Ministry of External Affairs for giving me an opportunity to deliver a keynote address at this very important dialogue.
We highly appreciate India’s efforts to promote Delhi Dialogue, which clearly demonstrates that in the implementation of its “Look East” policy, India pays great attention to the essential role of ASEAN and ASEAN-India relation.
The 4th Delhi Dialogue takes place at a very special time when ASEAN and India are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of ASEAN-India dialogue relation. It is very timely for us to look beyond the first two decades of relation and exchange our experiences and ideas on how to strengthen and deepen our cooperation to meet the expectation and aspiration of our peoples.
The world as a whole and our region in particular has gone through great changes over the past twenty years. Our Asia-Pacific region has become a new locomotive of global growth with China and India as the two fastest growing economies in the world. ASEAN has gone a long way in realizing the vision of building an ASEAN Community in 2015 and is now playing an increasingly important role in the international arena.
Over the past two decades, the ASEAN-India relation has witnessed outstanding developments. Today, this relationship is even more important than ever before in face of the unstable recovery of the world economy, traditional and non-traditional security challenges. We can see very clearly how we are interdependent today. The current situation compels us to promote dialogue and cooperation to overcome common challenges. As ASEAN and India are approaching a precious opportunity to uplift our relation into a higher level, it will be very meaningful if this forum can discuss and propose new ideas on what we should do to enhance our future cooperation.
With that in mind, I would like to touch on the necessity to increase ASEAN-India comprehensive connectivity across all the areas of economic development, politics-security and people-to-people.
First, in response to the growing instability of the world economy, it is now imperative for ASEAN to implement the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity which was adopted at the 17th ASEAN Summit in Ha Noi. The realization of this plan will bring benefits not only to ASEAN but also to its partners. Given geographical advantages and a highly complementary nature, ASEAN and India could and should focus on enhancing connectivity, especially in fields of transport, information technology and energy. Besides, it is encouraging to see that the 2010 Ha Noi Summit’s goal to achieve ASEAN-India trade target of US$ 70 billion by 2012 is now being realized but with our potentials, we can go further beyond that. We have already concluded the Agreement on ASEAN-India Trade in Goods. It is now important to finalize the Agreements on Trade in Services and Investment in order to accelerate the establishment of an ASEAN-India Free Trade Area.
Second, many countries have now embarked on the path of restructuring the national economy towards Green Growth and sustainable development. India has reached an advanced level of information technology development and is well known for its success in developing its agriculture strategy towards green growth. India has supported the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), aiming at bridging development gap in ASEAN. We hope that our discussion will lead to ideas on how we could develop green economy along with poverty eradication and sustainable development.
Third, the world is facing pressing challenges, including food, water and energy scarcity, climate change, natural disasters, pandemics, transnational crimes, international terrorism, maritime security and safety, etc. However, the challenges are also opening up new opportunities. As the challenges are global, transnational and interconnected, we should be interconnected to find global solutions to surmount them. The key to success lies in our own efforts and in our enhanced dialogue and cooperation. We believe that the new regional architecture must be grounded on and complementary to existing regional frameworks and processes, such as ASEAN Plus 1, ASEAN Plus 3, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the East Sea (DOC), South East Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ) etc. with ASEAN taking a central role. At these fora we can discuss and find good ways to overcome above-mentioned security issues, including maritime security and safety in the East Sea. Vietnam is strongly committed to and actively participates in any effort to find a peaceful settlement to the disputes in the East Sea in accordance with international laws, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS 1982), and in the spirit of the DOC. Last year ASEAN and China successfully concluded the Guidelines of the implementation of the DOC. We are now working together towards the conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the foreseeable future.
Last but not least, we highly appreciate the idea of the organizers of this dialogue to recommend “Building of ASEAN-India Knowledge and Science Network” as one of the themes for our discussion. Cooperation in culture, tourism, education is the best way to increase people-to-people connectivity - a catalyst for economic connectivity. We note with satisfaction the revival of Nalanda University, and we believe that we have sufficient foundation and capacity to open up more training centres and education programs in India and in ASEAN countries. We are very glad to see a wide range of ongoing activities to celebrate 20 years of dialogue relations between ASEAN and India. Viet Nam strongly supports and actively prepares for the Car Rally - a Road Trip from ASEAN to India later this year. It would be a concrete and meaningful activity to enhance people to people connectivity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Viet Nam is determined to step up the renewal process, national industrialization and modernization. We are now in the process of restructuring the economy, renovating the growth model with a view to developing knowledge-based and green economy, securing a fast and sustainable development. In order to achieve these goals, we focus on three breakthroughs, which are perfecting the institution of socialist-oriented market economy, developing human resources and upgrading the infrastructure. At the same time, Viet Nam is pursuing a foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, being a reliable friend and partner and a responsible member of the international community. We shall enhance international integration and actively join regional and international efforts to solve the global issues. Together with other members of ASEAN, we shall be working closely with India to promote peace, stability, progress and shared prosperity.
May I wish the Dialogue a great success!
Thank you very much for your kind attention!
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