Vietnam makes important contributions to AIPA-44: Ambassador
Vietnam has made important contributions to ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) and preparations for the AIPA-44 which is to take place in Indonesia, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Ta Van Thong.
The ambassador told Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Jakarta during an interview ahead of Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue’s official visit to Indonesia and attendance at the AIPA-44 in the Indonesian capital city from August 4-7.
Thong said the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership has been growing across politics, diplomacy, national defence-security, economy, tourism, culture and people-to-people exchange. In ASEAN, Indonesia is the largest market with over 285 million consumers, while Vietnam is the third largest market with 100 million people and an impressive economic growth rate.
In the first four months of this year, two-way trade surpassed 4.2 billion USD. Of which, 1.6 billion USD was Vietnam’s exports to Indonesia, up 9% annually. This year’s figure is expected to exceed 15 billion USD.
Both countries are pushing forward agreements between Ho Chi Minh City and Bali province, and between Hue city and Denpasar city. Indonesia continues to offer scholarships to Vietnamese students in training and cultural exchange programmes.
The number of tourists from the two nations is increasing, with each country having around 70,000-80,000 people choosing to travel to the other country. Direct flights linking Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City with Jakarta and Bali have been resumed. They are exploring the possibility of opening more routes to other destinations such as Da Nang and Yogyakarta.
He expressed his belief that Vietnam will once again play a crucial role in promoting discussions and shaping outcomes of AIPA-44. Vietnam has proposed three draft resolutions aimed at addressing key challenges in the region and fostering cooperation among AIPA’s member parliaments, which reflect Vietnam's dedication to issues such as promoting innovation, sci-tech, and digital transformation with a focus on women.
As a country with the highest number of female parliamentarians among AIPA members, Vietnam has raised important voices in advocating increased participation of women in politics in ASEAN. The Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA), established in 1998, is stepping up initiatives to enhance the capacity and leadership ability of women through their engagement in political activities this year, he said.
As the host of the 14th AIPA Advisory Group Meeting (AIPA Caucus 14), the Vietnamese NA introduced a publication entitled "Promoting the application of ASEAN Guidelines for Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture, and Forestry: A Practical Handbook for ASEAN Parliamentarians" to be presented at the AIPA-44.
By addressing these pressing concerns, Vietnam contributed to the overall goals of the AIPA-44 in formulating effective parliamentary measures for ASEAN parliaments to respond more promptly, he said.
Commenting on Vietnam’s role and position in ASEAN in general and AIPA in particular, Thong said since its admission to ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has always been an active member making significant contributions to the development process of ASEAN as well as peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region as a whole.
According to him, Vietnam has always been proactive, positive, and responsible in its participation in ASEAN's activities, with notable milestones such as the 1998 Hanoi Plan of Action, the expanded East Asia Summit mechanism, and the establishment of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM ) in 2010.
Amid difficulties caused by COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam accomplished its role as ASEAN Chair in 2020, leading to the issuance of the Joint Statement of the 37th ASEAN Summit with initiatives to help ASEAN countries proactively respond to the pandemic and recover supply chains. Notably, the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) deal, with a market size of 2.2 billion people and around 30% of global GDP, is a testament to Vietnam's credibility in coordinating, leading and promoting cooperation frameworks, from proactive integration to being an active and responsible member, and in maintaining and upholding ASEAN's central role in the regional architecture.
The diplomat also highlighted Vietnam's active participation and constructive contributions to AIPA meetings, including the upcoming AIPA-44, as well as Vietnam's commitment to improving AIPA and its dedication to the organisation's principles and objectives.