At the meeting of the Committee on Economic Matters on September 9 (Photo: VNA)
– An official of the Vietnamese National
Assembly has suggested continuing to review and perfect the legal framework to
promote trade facilitation to ensure uninterrupted circulation of goods and
supply chains in the ASEAN region.
Nguyen Manh Tien, Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for Foreign Affairs
and Head of the Vietnamese NA’s Delegation, made the suggestion at a virtual meeting
of the Committee on Economic Matters of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN
Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) on September 9. The meeting focused on
the topic “The Role of
Parliaments in Promoting ASEAN Cohesiveness and Economic Recovery post-COVID 19”.
Tien said over the past several months, ASEAN countries have taken their
own measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic as well as respond to the economic
impacts of the pandemic. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a medical
crisis, but a crisis for the growth when international trade and supply chains
Facing this situation, the Vietnamese delegation was deeply concerned
about the great losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in ASEAN countries, he
said, adding that the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused a great
hindrance to the economies of ASEAN countries as well as their internal and
external trade activities.
Therefore, the economic integration in promoting economic growth and
recovery of ASEAN member countries and the good implementation of digital
economic activities will be of profound importance, playing an important role
in strengthening ASEAN economic integration as well as ASEAN’s readiness to
respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In that spirit, Tien recommended the ASEAN community to unify to
implement a series of breakthrough and feasible solutions, which are:
Firstly, promoting accelerated exchange of information relating to tourism and health
and other necessary measures to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic;
promoting the safety in travelling, applying safety standards and medical
procedures to facilitate cross-border movement of ASEAN citizens, and adhering
to international health and safety standards as well as commitments under
relevant Agreements among ASEAN member countries;
studying the concept of "travel bubble" between "green
countries" as a preliminary initiative in the process of reopening the
border, forming safe travel zones within ASEAN and proposing to issue reference
guidelines to all ASEAN member countries without prejudice to commitments under
the relevant agreements among ASEAN member countries;
Thirdly, continuing to review and perfect the legal framework to promote trade
facilitation, to ensure uninterrupted circulation of goods and supply chains in
the region; building open, sustainable and responsible investment policies in
the region; ensuring food security and agricultural value chains; increasing
the use of renewable energy; proceeding to build a circular economy;
speeding up the ratification of regional trade agreements and treaties; prioritising
efforts to finalise negotiations and sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic
Partnership (RCEP) by 2020; strengthening capacity, participation and
strengthening parliamentary oversight of the implementation of trade and
investment commitments within the regional and international frameworks,
considering it as a key tool to promote broader economic linkages within the
ASEAN Community and between ASEAN and other partners.
enhancing the development of digital infrastructure, digital connectivity,
digital data security, digital knowledge and skills connecting ASEAN member
countries to develop the digital economy; sharing information and experiences
to handle challenges facing e-commerce platforms; taking advantage of the
opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to overcome the disadvantages
of economic lockdown and social distancing in the COVID-19 pandemic and
remaining competitiveness in the digital economy era.
building regional connectivity infrastructure, enhancing transport connectivity
and the need to strengthen cooperation in the Mekong sub-region and other ASEAN
subregions, especially on environmental protection, smart agriculture
development and sustainable management of transboundary natural resources to
ensure food, water and energy security in the subregions during and after the
At the meeting,
delegates spoke highly of the Vietnamese National Assembly’s efforts to hold the
41st General Assembly of AIPA via a teleconference as the COVID-19 pandemic is raging
in the region and the world.
They discussed measures
to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 while fine-tuning legal frameworks to
promote economic recovery when the pandemic is put under control.
The participants affirmed
the importance of economic connectivity, including maintaining supply chains,
in promoting ASEAN member nations’ economic growth and comprehensive recovery.
They also called for
cooperation among AIPA member parliaments in building new legal frameworks to
institutionalise national preparedness and response mechanisms against COVID-19
and future pandemics.
A Resolution on the
Role of Parliaments in Promoting ASEAN Cohesiveness and Economic Recovery Post-COVID-19
was approved at the end of the meeting.
The Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) now comprises 10 members, namely Brunei,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam./.