ASEAN works steadily, hard to build up cooperation, benefit one another

ASEAN Member States (AMS) have worked steadily and hard over the decades, hand-in-hand, to build up our cooperation and to benefit one another.

The statement was made by Singaporean Ambassador Catherine Wong Siow Ping in an interview with reporter from the Viet Nam Government Portal on the occasion of the 50th founding anniversary of ASEAN (August 8, 2967-August 8, 2017).

In the interview, the Ambassador supposed that: ASEAN has made significant achievements since its inception in 1967.

Politically, ASEAN's regional integration efforts have anchored ASEAN's relevance on the world stage. Our status and influence as a political bloc has grown and has been recognized by other countries.

Economically, ASEAN has recorded a commendable average GDP growth of between 4.5% to 6.1% from 2012 to 2016 and is expected to continue growing at an average 5.2% in the coming years.

The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 has further contributed to ASEAN's consistent efforts in deepening economic integration and transforming ASEAN into a major manufacturing and investment destination.

In the social and cultural areas, all AMS remain committed to forging a common identity and building a caring, sharing and inclusive society. ASEAN's 50th anniversary (ASEAN 50) this year is an opportune time for us to reflect on and celebrate our past achievements while at the same time look ahead to sustain our efforts in promoting a stable, secure and prosperous ASEAN.

Indeed, there is still a lot more work to be done and challenges for ASEAN to overcome. Given the uncertain global environment, we have to press on to deepen economic integration and boost connectivity among AMS, through frameworks such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC).

In security and counter-terrorism, Ms. Catherine Wong Siow Ping affirmed that We have to work more closely together to share intelligence, counter extremist ideology and disrupt terrorist networks. In social and cultural areas, we need to continue our efforts at fostering people-to-people ties and building support for ASEAN amongst our people.

If ASEAN can build on what we have achieved and deepen our cooperation across the board, all our peoples will benefit. As Singapore takes on the ASEAN Chairmanship next year, we will continue to work with all AMS, including Viet Nam, to pursue these goals.

Regarding activities will be organized to celebrate the event, she said that ASEAN 50 has been a wonderful opportunity for Singapore to raise awareness of ASEAN amongst Singaporeans and ASEAN nationals studying and working in Singapore. We have lined up a series of commemorative events, including a food and culture festival at our annual ASEAN Day Reception, the launch of a book titled Fifty Years of ASEAN and Singapore, and the unveiling of a commemorative orchid which we have named Papilionanda ASEAN Golden Jubilee.

We also look forward to the Lighting of Iconic Landmarks on 8 August, where Singapore will be lighting up our Esplanade Theatre. In Viet Nam, the Singapore Embassy in Ha Noi will continue to support the Vietnamese government's efforts to celebrate ASEAN 50, including participating in the ASEAN Golden Festival held in Ha Noi in end-August.

Source: Online Newspaper of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam