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|At the meeting (Source: VNA)|
Jakarta – The 11th meeting of the ASEAN-Australia Joint Cooperation Committee was held in the form of a videoconference on April 8, to review the bilateral cooperation in the previous year and discuss orientations in the coming time.
Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang, head of Vietnam’s Permanent Mission to ASEAN, in his capacity as chair of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Task Force, spoke highly of Australia’s aid worth 2.8 million USD for the implementation of the IAI Work Plan III (2016-2020).
He requested Australia to further assist ASEAN in carrying out the IAI Work Plan IV (2021-2025) which was adopted during the 37th ASEAN Summit held in late 2020.
At the event, participating ambassadors applauded cooperation results obtained in all fields, especially a decision to turn the ASEAN-Australia Summit into an annual event since this year.
Australia is the seventh largest trade partner of ASEAN and an important foreign investor with 2.77 billion USD in total as of October 2020.
The sides agreed to collaborate in implementing the 2020-2024 Plan of Action (PoA) in a strategic and practical manner, prioritising activities and projects in keeping with COVID-19 developments.
Australia affirmed its support for ASEAN’s central role in contributing to maintaining peace and stability in the region. The country is committed to continuing its support for the bloc in building the ASEAN Community and the IAI implementation.
It also announced the provision of 1 million AUD (764,200 USD) to a ASEAN’s fund for COVID-19 response; 21 million AUD for the ASEAN Centre for Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases; and another 1 million AUD for the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework.
ASEAN highly valued the ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership, especially Australia’s assistance like the ASEAN–Australia Development Cooperation Programme Phase II, the ASEAN Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement and the New Colombo Plan.
Both sides pledged to deepen the ASEAN-Australia strategic partnership and noted the importance of enhancing cooperation in areas such as maritime security, cyber security, the fight against transnational crime, trade and investment, connectivity, smart city, development gap reduction, education, people-to-people exchanges, health, and sustainable development.