Following the closing ceremony, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand, the host country of ASEAN in 2019, handed the chairmanship hammer to his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
In his speech, PM Phuc noted Vietnam has chosen “Cohesive and Responsive” as the theme for the ASEAN Year 2020.
He said 2020 will mark five years since the formation of the ASEAN Community. While efforts to boost regional connectivity and build the Community are being enhanced, and in the face of swift and complex developments in the region and the world, the capability of sustainable cohesiveness is all the more important to ASEAN.
In 2020, Vietnam wishes to focus on fostering the bloc’s sustainable cohesiveness through consolidating solidarity and unity, increasing economic connectivity, further intensifying the values and identities of the ASEAN Community, improving the efficiency of ASEAN’s apparatus, and stepping up relations with the bloc’s partners in the global community, the PM affirmed.
Through such sustainable cohesiveness, the ASEAN Community can promote its active and effective responsiveness to opportunities and challenges, including the strong development of science-technology, changes in global and regional economies, and transnational challenges that are affecting the stable and sustainable development of countries and people’s lives, according to him.
PM Phuc said cohesiveness and responsiveness are greatly complementary to each other, adding that a cohesive and developed community needs to increase its responsiveness to external factors and, in return, responsiveness can only be attained if ASEAN is a strongly cohesive bloc.
Vietnam looks forwards to the active support and assistance from other ASEAN members and partners to realise the spirit of the theme of the ASEAN Year 2020, he stressed.
Following his speech, the logo for the ASEAN Year 2020 was debuted, and a short video introducing the chairmanship of Vietnam screened at the ceremony.