Jakarta (VNA) – The first ASEAN-France Development Partnership Committee (AF-DPC) Meeting took place on March 4 in the form of a video conference.
The Vietnamese delegation was led by Vietnam’s representative to the ASEAN Ambassador Nguyen Hai Bang.
At the meeting, the French side affirmed that France treasures cooperation with ASEAN, underlining that the organisation plays a significant role in maintaining political and economic stability in the region, and voicing a hope to further participate in ASEAN-led processes.
France affirmed it will support the building of the ASEAN Community and implementation of the 2025 Vision, priorities in the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025), and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan IV (2021 -2025); while actively contributing to maintaining peace, stability and development in Asia-Pacific and the world.
For their part, ASEAN representatives welcomed and highly valued that France has become a Development Partner of ASEAN.
They expressed gratitude to France’s assistance for ASEAN members through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) over the past 25 years, especially in the fields of regional economic integration, education, environment and climate change, and institutional enhancement/capacity building.
They also suggested France bolster cooperation in digitalisation, biodiversity, tourism and cultural exchange, technical education and vocational training, as well as support other ASEAN mechanisms and initiatives, particularly the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.
Regarding future cooperation, the two sides agreed to foster practical collaboration in spheres of mutual interest, and identify and focus on some prioritised fields at present.
Of note, they consented to compile the Practical Cooperation Areas (PCA) for 2022-26, which serves as the basis for effective implementation of cooperation activities between ASEAN and France in the coming time.
As a member of the European Union, France takes part in and supports the ASEAN-EU dialogue partnership, while paying attention to bolstering its direct relations with ASEAN, the country’s representative said.
France was recognised as a Development Partner of ASEAN during the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting hosted by Vietnam last September, marking a new step forward in the bilateral ties and paving the way for new cooperation chances.
The second AF-DPC meeting is slated for 2022./.