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Asean, dialogue partners discuss response to Covid, reopening for tourism

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (Asean) and their dialogue partners have agreed to deepen cooperation to combat Covid-19, discussed reopening for tourism, and vowed to broaden cooperation in various fields.
The leaders are convening for the 38th and 39th Asean Summits and related meetings which are taking place online under the chairmanship of Brunei as the Asean Chair for 2021.

At the 24th Asean-Japan Summit on October 27, Asean leaders welcomed and praised Japan’s contribution of one million dollars to the Asean Covid-19 response fund and 50 million dollars to the Asean Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. Japan has also provided medical equipment and Covid-19 vaccines to Asean member countries.
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, who together with Somdech Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei co-chaired the meeting, promised that Japan would provide further assistance to help Asean overcome the pandemic as well as assistance for post-pandemic economic recovery.
Japan also plans to provide further cooperation on regional economic integration, digital transformation, human resource development and innovation development.
The meeting highly valued the cooperation between Asean and Japan. Asean leaders thanked Japan for its contribution to the building of the Asean community, particularly assistance with human resource development and implementation of the Asean connectivity master plan 2025 and the fourth Asean connectivity initiative.
On the same day, Asean leaders and their Australian counterparts convened for the first Asean-Australia Summit.
Delivering the Asean Common Statement, Prime Minister Phankham Viphavanh of Laos - the coordinating country between Asean and Australia - expressed satisfaction with Asean-Australia relations in past years.
Asean leaders observed that Australia had extended assistance in various fields, including education, regional integration, Asean connectivity, narrowing the development gap and support for Asean’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Asean leaders welcomed Australia’s contribution of one million Australian dollars to the Asean Covid-19 response fund, another one million dollars to the Asean all-round recovery plan, and 21 million dollars to the Asean Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases.
The meeting committed that both sides would continue to cooperate in priority areas such as public health including Covid-19, regional economic integration through digital transformation, education, Asean connectivity, sustainable development, and the development of smart cities in Asean countries.
Asean and Australian leaders agreed in principle to elevate Asean-Australia relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
At the Asean+Three (China, Japan and Republic of Korea) Summit held on the same day, leaders spoke highly of the fruitful cooperation between their countries over past years. They also expressed pleasure over their fruitful cooperation in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The leaders agreed to deepen cooperation for economic recovery including cooperation on finance, digital economies, green development, transport, connectivity, Asean smart city networks, food security, and poverty reduction.
Convening the 16th East Asia Summit, the leaders committed further cooperation to combat Covid-19 along with enhanced joint efforts for post-pandemic economic recovery.
The leaders agreed to increase cooperation on sustainable development with a focus on promoting multilateral cooperation, strengthening regional economic integration, digital transformation, and connectivity, as well as reopening travel for the purposes of tourism, trade and investment.


By Times Reporters
 (Latest Update October 28, 2021)


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