Vietnam attend informal ASEAN foreign and economic meetings

Nov. 23 (VNA) -- Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Trade Minister Vu Khoan attended the informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) and the informal ASEAN Economic Minister (AEM) Meeting, respectively, in Singapore on Nov. 23.

At the informal AMM, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien and Foreign Ministers of other ASEAN member countries heard the ASEAN's Eminent Persons Group (EPG) reporting on ASEAN Vision 2020 and the contents of the ASEAN+Japan Consultation Meeting on the Ha Noi Plan of Action.

The FMs expressed high appreciation of the efforts made by EPG and ASEAN Japan consultants on the Ha Noi Plan of Action and their support for the proposals in the reports. They agreed to submit such report to the fourth Informal ASEAN Summit.

Addressing the AMM, Foreign Minister Nien stressed that the reports had combined the spirit of the ASEAN Vision with objectives and solutions worked out in the Ha Noi Plan of Action.

He stressed that the recommendations were of practical significance to ASEAN and its member countries at present and in future, thus helping the organization build more action plans in order to carry out ASEAN Vision 2020 upon the complete implementation of the Ha Noi Plan of Action in 2004.

The Vietnamese FM said that the proposals should be continued to be considered and studied to work out objectives and feasible solutions to develop the region and meet ASEAN's urgent demands, particularly demand for narrowing development gap among ASEAN members.

At the informal AEM meeting, Trade Minister Vu Khoan and ASEAN economic ministers checked documents, particularly an e-ASEAN Framework Agreement to be signed by ASEAN leaders during the meeting.

This morning, the ministers signed a protocol on the implementation of the Temporary Exclusion List under the framework of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). They affirmed that the signing of the protocol would not be a step backward as compared to AFTA but a proper way to implement AFTA, especially at the post-crisis period.

They also discussed and submitted to State and Government leaders of ASEAN countries proposals to strengthen economic cooperation within ASEAN as well as between ASEAN and dialogue partners, particularly China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.--VNA