28/02/2024 - 09:57

Connectivity in ASEAN - key to regional development: ASEAN chief 

Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General of ASEAN (Photo: asean.org)
Enhancing connectivity and resilience are key priorities of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2024, according to Kao Kim Hourn, the bloc's Secretary-General.

As the world and the region continue to witness multi-dimensional, complex and unpredictable developments in both geopolitics and geo-economics, the bloc requires joint efforts and solidarity of member countries to deal with challenges, he said in an interview with Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Jakarta.

He noted that this is appropriate because ASEAN is in the final stages of implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025, which was approved in 2016.

The official emphasised that nine priorities of Laos for its ASEAN Chairmanship 2024, including four on enhancing connectivity and five on enhancing resilience, are key to the development of the region.

An ASEAN Leaders' Declaration on "Enhancing connectivity and resilience" is scheduled to be issued at the 44th and 45th ASEAN Summits in October 2024, he added.

ASEAN determines that economic cooperation and connection will help the bloc strengthen its internal strength, aiming to develop a green economy and tackle climate change, which are challenges to the region.

ASEAN is committed to sustainable development by highlighting cross-cutting activities on circular economy and carbon neutrality.

The ASEAN chief noted that the bloc has undertaken more than 50 initiatives covering a range of fields, including biotechnology, meteorology, microelectronics and space technology. To promote green growth, a lot of initiatives have been implemented such as establishing the ASEAN Network on Biology, Information and Green Economy; developing climate change guidelines; transfering green technology to enterprises.

In the context that competition between major powers becomes increasingly fierce and unpredictable, ASEAN advocates deepening the relationship between ASEAN and its partners in a substantive and effective manner to ensure the bloc’s centrality and promote regional development, he added.

The ASEAN leader said he strongly believes that with all these factors, ASEAN will be able to promote its tradition of solidarity and unity and overcome the above-mentioned challenges./.