Vietnam’s 22 years of membership in ASEAN

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Over the past 22 years, Vietnam has consistently considered ASEAN a foundation and one of top priorities of its foreign policy. Vietnam has worked closely with other ASEAN members to boost integration and internal solidarity. 

50 years after its establishment, ASEAN has become a strong community with a growing role and stature globally. Since joining ASEAN in 1995, Vietnam has contributed to ASEAN’s successes, including the adoption of the 2007 ASEAN Charter, the Hanoi Declaration on ASEAN Vision 2020, the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, and Master Plans implementing the 3 pillars of politics-security, economics, and culture-society. 

ASEAN membership, a historic decision 

Vietnam’s ASEAN membership opened a new period of integration in the region. Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung said: “It was the right decision to join ASEAN in 1995, when we were in dire need of socio-economic development and expansion of relations with other countries. ASEAN membership enabled Vietnam to expand ties with the EU and normalize relations with the US and China. As an ASEAN member, Vietnam has engaged deeply in ASEAN activities in line with its integration policy.”

In ASEAN Vietnam has enjoyed a favorable environment for forging closer ties with its neighbors and resolving long-standing issues, and has contributed to regional cooperative mechanisms that further its national interests. ASEAN helps amplify Vietnam’s voice worldwide and create cooperative opportunities. 

ASEAN’s Secretary General Le Luong Minh: “Vietnam’s economic development has benefited from ASEAN membership. During the course of 10 years from 2006 to last year, Vietnam’s GDP share in ASEAN doubled from 3.5% to 7%. ASEAN-Vietnam trade increased 120% with tighter connectivity in infrastructure, trade mechanisms, and human resources.”

Towards equal, sustainable development 

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN and the 2nd anniversary of the ASEAN Community. Achievements have been made in implementing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and Master Plans. 

Head of the Vietnam Permanent Delegation to ASEAN Ambassador Nguyen Hoanh Nam said: “Work progressed in a more organized manner over the past year thanks to task assignment. Currently, ASEAN is seeking ways to reform its method of operation, enhance the capacity of the apparatus, and create a more open mechanism for internal connectivity.”

Vietnam believes that a cohesive and united ASEAN with an important international role matches Vietnam’s fundamental and long-term interests. Over the past 22 years, both sides have worked closely together to narrow differences and deal with their historical legacy in order to boost comprehensive cooperation in the spirit of friendship and solidarity. 

Vietnam and other ASEAN members need to work harder to make Vision 2030 a reality and ASEAN the keystone of the Asian Community. 



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