Asean should soon finalize a travel corridor framework for the safe resumption of essential business travel suggested by the Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyễn Quốc Dũng suggested.
Nguyễn Quốc Dũng was speaking while addressing the Asean Joint Consultative Meeting (JCM) last Thursday which took place via videoconference chaired by Brunei, which holds the Asean Chairmanship in 2021.
They expressed their countries’ support for Brunei to promote the initiatives and priorities for the Asean Year 2021, and they agreed on the roadmap for building the Asean Community’s post-2025 vision and on the establishment of a high-level drafting group this year.
Participants at the meeting recognized the progress in Asean Community building over the last six months despite the complex COVID-19 situation in the region.
The meeting had also concurred on building an Asean master plan on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and accelerating the Strategic and Holistic Initiative to Link Asean Responses to Emergencies and Disasters (ASEAN SHIELD).
Officials agreed to step up the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines via UNICEF and the COVAX Facility to supply member countries, asking Asean to promptly use US$10.5 million from its COVID-19 response fund to purchase vaccines.
Stressing the importance of sustainable recovery, the countries highlighted the need for the entire bloc’s engagement in implementing the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework, and for supporting enterprises, vulnerable groups, and remote areas in the region.
At the meeting, they welcomed and approved Vietnam’s initiative to organize an Asean forum on sub-regional cooperation in the third quarter of this year to focus on narrowing the development gap among sub-regions for comprehensive recovery and sustainable development.
They also highly valued the outcomes of the regional conference on the implementation of the Initiative for Asean Integration for 2021 – 2025, held on May 19 and chaired by Vietnam.
In his remarks, Deputy Minister Dũng said Asean should prioritize recovering and promoting connectivity by effectively implementing the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework and soon finalizing an Asean travel corridor arrangement framework to facilitate travel within the bloc.