ASEAN, US establish comprehensive strategic partnership
By Thanh Danh, Vu Hoang
ASEAN and the U.S. agreed to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership during a high-level summit in Phnom Penh on Saturday.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the official launch of the ASEAN-U.S. comprehensive strategic partnership at the ASEAN-U.S. Summit.
"ASEAN is the heart of the Indo-Pacific strategy during my tenure," said Biden.
"Today we have taken a new step forward, starting a new era of cooperation by kicking off the U.S.-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership."
In a statement at the U.S.-ASEAN Special Summit in Washington in May, both sides agreed to upgrade their relationship from a strategic to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
Also on Saturday, ASEAN established comprehensive strategic partnership with India at the 19th ASEAN - India Summit.
Indian Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar emphasized that ASEAN is "an important pillar of India's Act East policy and is at the heart of India's Indo-Pacific initiative.
Attending the summit, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh suggested ASEAN and India strengthen coordination, ensure regional order, respect the rule of law, behave equally, respect each other and cooperate for mutual development.
Chinh also led a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to attend the ASEAN+3 Summit with Chinese, Korean and Japanese partners.
The leaders of ASEAN+3 agreed to soon fully resume trade, promote trade liberalization, increase cooperation towards sustainable development and green growth.
Chinh said that ASEAN+3 leaders should focus on total trade resumption and economic reopening, boosting cooperation for green and sustainable growth.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh attends the ASEAN+3 Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on November 12, 2022. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Government Portal
At the second ASEAN-Australia Summit, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese emphasized his commitment to strengthening ties with ASEAN, supporting ASEAN's central role in the region and working with ASEAN to implement substantive cooperation.
According to Australian data, two-way trade turnover between ASEAN and Australia in 2021 grew by more than 26%, reaching $95.51 billion.
Australia's total foreign direct investment in ASEAN in 2021 reached $20.57 billion.
Chinh said that in order for the ASEAN-Australia relationship to be elevated to comprehensive strategic partnership, the two sides should soon fully restore and promote trade and investment exchanges, including accelerating the upgrade of the Agreement Establishing ASEAN - Australia - New Zealand Free Trade Area.
He further proposed Australia to open up its market more widely for ASEAN agricultural products, as well as speed up quarantine and customs clearance activities.
Chinh is joining the leaders of ASEAN countries to attend the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and related meetings in Phnom Penh from November 10 to 13.
Leaders of ASEAN countries and 10 partners will discuss issues related to developing the ASEAN community, cooperation between ASEAN and partners as well as sharing views on solutions to regional and international problems.