Addressing the ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan confirmed that Vietnam fully recognizes the importance of science and technology and considers it a key to the success of its process of modernization over the next ten years.
He added that science and technology is one of crucial cooperative sectors among ASEAN member countries and a decisive factor in creating comparative economic advantages to ensure sustainable development within the bloc and improve the region's capacity to cope with global climate change.
Participants discussed ways to strengthen scientific and technological cooperation among ASEAN countries and reviewed results of cooperative programmes since the last informal AMMST in December 2010 in Krabi, Thailand.
The Action Plan on Science and Technology (APAST) in the 2007-2011 period was also passed, which includes the implementation of six prioritized development programmes on food security, a natural disaster early warning system, biofuel production, application and development of open-source software, climate change adaptation, and the Krabi initiative entitled Science Technology and Innovation (STI) for a Competitive, Sustainable and Inclusive ASEAN.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Science and Technology, Vietnam has been an active participant in scientific and technological activities in the region, especially in ASEAN cooperative projects. It has also made significant contributions to the ASEAN Science Fund (ASF).
Vietnamese Minister Nguyen Quan said the biggest obstacles to scientific and technological cooperation in the region are the huge differences in development levels among ASEAN member countries.
However, he expressed confident in the success of the Krabi initiative, citing the fact that ASEAN countries share a common will and a good relationship, and there is a strong consensus among their top leaders.
The 62nd ASEAN Committee for Science and Technology (COST 62) and the consultative meeting on ASEAN-New Zealand scientific and technology cooperation were also held as part of the AMMST on November 23-25.