Update: 18:50 | 14/12/2022
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has called for promoting international solidarity and multilateralism at the ASEAN – E.U. Business Summit in Belgium.
Speaking at the annual event, which had the theme "strengthening ASEAN – E.U. trade: sustainable development for all," on Tuesday in Brussels as part of the 45th ASEAN-EU Anniversary, he delivered several messages.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaks at the ASEAN-EU Business Summit in Belgium on December 13, 2022.
He said countries need to enhance international solidarity, uphold multilateralism and cooperate more effectively in the context that there are now a number of global issues, which all countries have to deal with jointly and not alone.
"ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian nations] and its partners account for nearly half of the global population and two-thirds of the global GDP. The two blocs have a relatively large area with a population of nearly one billion people and therefore, we need to unite, think together, take action and look to the future."
He referred to climate change, an issue that continues to challenge economies that have already been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic along with others such as inflation, supply chain disruption and food and energy security.
Climate change is a global issue and requires a global approach, and strengthening international solidarity and multilateralism is imperative, he said.
The issue requires a people-centric approach, he said.
Businesses need "green finance, green technology, green management, green human resources" and governments to establish appropriate institutions to foster green and sustainable economic development, he said.
Developed countries need to help developing countries with finance, human resources, technology, governance, and institutions to respond to climate change, he exhorted.
He referred to trade relations between the E.U. and ASEAN, saying countries must complete a legal framework, create the best foundation and conditions for businesses to enhance their capacity, creativity and responsibility and connect with each other more.
He suggested that countries should do so by negotiating and signing free trade agreements, investment protection agreements, avoiding double taxation, and enabling rapid customs clearance of goods.
Businesses need to focus on the digital economy, green economy, circular economy, climate change response, food security, energy security, and cyber security, he said.
An important current trend now is the development of wind and solar power, which would not be affected by war or competition, he said.
Speaking about Vietnam, he said its foreign policy is based on autonomy, self-reliance, multilateralization, and diversification to foster peace, friendship, cooperation, and development.
Vietnam is consistent in settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law, he said.
"We don't choose sides, but justice and fairness."
"We welcome businesses and investors to do long-term and successful business in Vietnam. We are committed to maintaining political stability, social order and safety, and at the same time keeping our policies stable over the long term so that investors can preserve capital, make profits and develop."
Trade between the EU and ASEAN is witnessing strong growth in the context that Southeast Asia has recovered rapidly from Covid.
The EU is the region’s third largest trading partner with two-way figures reaching nearly US$269 billion in 2021, up 18.6% from 2020.
The EU ranked second in terms of investment in ASEAN last year - with US$26.5 billion, up 42.9% from 2020.
Chinh arrived in Belgium to attend the summit on Tuesday. He is also set to make a bilateral visit to the country.
He had earlier visited Luxembourg and the Netherlands as part of his European tour.