Government News 1/6
Vietnamese official lauds ties with EU
Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh (R) and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen
Head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh has lauded the active development of Vietnam – European Union (EU) ties over the past years, especially in trade and investment.
During a recent working session with Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen as part of his ongoing visit to Belgium and the EU from May 30-31, Binh hailed the EU as the second largest trade partner of Vietnam (behind China), the second largest export market (behind the US) with 18 percent of Vietnam’s shipments arriving in the bloc, and one of the five largest foreign investors in the country.
Last year, two-way trade neared 52 billion USD, 31.8 billion USD of which was Vietnam’s trade surplus.
Both sides shared the view that the ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement has created an important legal framework to lift Vietnam – EU ties.
They wished that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) would be signed soon. The EU would assist Vietnam in improving capacity to fully and effectively deliver on commitments mentioned in the deal.
Binh highlighted benefits that EVFTA will bring to Vietnam and EU member states, laying a foundation to connect EU with the Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific, especially in the context of rising protectionism.
While in Belgium, Binh also met Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, former Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Foreign Minister and President of the Christian Democratic and Flemish Party parliamentarians’ group Steven Vanackere, and Minister of Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development Marie - Christine Marghem.
During working sessions with Belgian leaders, Binh expressed his delight at the active, diverse and practical development of Vietnam – Belgium ties, from the federal to regional level, adding that the visit is of significance on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.
The two sides affirmed that economic-financial cooperation is a priority pillar in bilateral ties and vowed to continue effectively realising outcomes of the fourth session of the Joint Committee on Economic Affairs in November 2017 in Hanoi.
The Belgian side committed favourable conditions for Vietnamse goods to enter distribution channels, supermarkets and retail shop in the country, especially farm and aquatic products.
The host leaders pledged to continue supporting Vietnam – EU comprehensive partnership, including the early signing, ratification and full implementation of the EVFTA.
The Vietnamese side expressed readiness to help Belgium enhance cooperation with ASEAN and its member states.
Vietnam is striving to improve business climate, accelerate economic restructuring with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, he said, adding that the country hopes Belgian government will encourage domestic firms to do business in fields of their strength and Vietnam’s priority such as maritime transportation, logistics services, green technology, agriculture, renewable energy, health care and equitisation of State-owned enterprises.
He suggested speeding up projects in urban development and climate change response in the central provinces of Ninh Thuan, Binh Thuan and Ha Tinh using non-refundable aid provided by Belgian government, as well as completing the second stage of the project on water drainage and wastewater treatment in Cua Lo town, the central province of Nghe An.
During his stay, Binh also visited and held a working session with the Vietnamese embassy in Belgium.
Shangri-La Dialogue to mull multiple regional security issues
US Defence Minister James Mattis will deliver a speech on the US leadership in the Indo-Pacific region at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2018
The Shangri-La Dialogue 2018 is set to last from June 1-3 in Singapore with the participation of defence ministers and officials from 50 countries worldwide and representatives from international organisations.
Taking place ahead of the US-Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) Summit scheduled for June 12, the dialogue will concentrate on the Korean Peninsula situation, along with other issues regarding regional security.
The agenda includes five plenary sessions on US leadership and the challenges of Indo-Pacific security, de-escalating the crisis in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, shaping new dimensions of terrorism and counter-terrorism and raising the bar for regional security co-operation.
The event also features several sessions covering such issues as new strategic technologies and the future of conflict, maritime security enhancement, strategic implications of military capability development in the Asia-Pacific and the management of competition in regional security cooperation.
US Defence Minister James Mattis will deliver a speech on the US leadership in the Indo-Pacific region. Apart from the DPRK issue, Mattis will speak of the US’s viewpoints on an array of regional matters.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present a keynote speech at the dialogue, mentioning New Delhi’s role in shaping the regional order amidst global uncertainties. This is a first time an Indian Prime Minister has attended the Shangri-La Dialogue.
The Vietnamese delegation to the dialogue is led by Defence Minister Ngo Xuan Lich, who will address the third plenary session, focusing on changing security order in Asia.
Vietnam has been invited to attend the dialogue since the first editions.
This is the fourth time a Vietnamese Defence Minister has participated in the event, reflecting the country’s goodwill and wish to promote friendship and cooperation, and share experience with other countries in resolving common security challenges, thus building trust as a foundation to enhance cooperation for peace and development.
This is a good opportunity for Vietnam to voice its views on regional security issues relating to national legitimate interests, towards peaceful settlement of disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Convened by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Shangri-La Dialogue is the most important regular gathering of defence professionals in Asia-Pacific, a vital annual fixture in the diaries of ministers and their civilian and military chiefs of staff.
Since its launch in 2002, the dialogue has built confidence and fostered security ties by facilitating easy communication among the region’s most important defence and security policymakers.
Prime Minister asks Binh Thuan to develop industry, agriculture
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the working session
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked Binh Thuan province to further improve the investment environment, remove difficulties for enterprises, and boost the growth of both industry and agriculture.
The province should prioritize implementing these specific solutions, said the leader at his working session with key provincial leaders in Hanoi on May 31 to tackle difficulties and speed up a number of key socio-economic and infrastructure projects for faster growth of the locality.
He highlighted the potential and strengths of Binh Thuan in tourism, natural resources and energy.
He commended the province on its recent good socio-economic performance and budget collection, saying it has shown strong performance in planning, forest protection and improving the investment environment.
However, Binh Thuan is still a poor locality that still needs support from the central budget, he pointed out.
The PM suggested that the province should review its socio-economic tasks to make sure these are relevant to development goals and strength of the province.
The locality should stick to the Party and State policies and law on natural resources and land management, avoiding losses and waste of land, he requested.
The province needs to efficiently deal with prolonged complaints and denunciations and protect the environment during its socio-economic development process, he said.
At the working session, the PM and leaders of some ministries also responded to the province’s proposals and requests regarding some transport infrastructure, air port and tourism projects.
Vietnam attaches importance to ties with Greece
Delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam meets delegation from Communist Party of Greece
Vietnam always treasures and wants to intensify its friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Greece, a Vietnamese Party official has said.
Vo Van Thuong, Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education made that statement at his meetings with Deputy Speaker of Greece’s Hellenic Parliament Christodoulopoulou Anastasia, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Greece Dimitris Koutsoumpas, and General Secretary of the ruling Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Panagiotis Rigas during his working visit to Greece from May 27 to June 1.
Thuong noted that both sides have coordinated closely and supported each other at multilateral forums and international organisations. Two-way trade has posted an average annual growth of more than 20 percent in the past 5 years.
However, economic cooperation should be stepped up to meet the two countries’ fine relations, he stressed.
The official said Vietnam’s economy is developing significantly and its defence security is maintained and social welfare policies are ensured.
The country continues its foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, cooperation, development, multilateralisation and diversification of relations, and active international integration, for the interests of people of Vietnam and other nations.
Vietnam is always a friend, reliable partner and responsible member of the international community and proactively participates in regional and international cooperation, he added.
He took the occasion to thank Greece for supporting Vietnam’s efforts to boost ties with the European Union, including the Hellenic Parliament’s ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, the country’s efforts to speed up the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and its recognition of Vietnam’s market economy.
The Greek leaders spoke highly of the visit by the Vietnamese Party delegation, believing that it will contribute to bolstering the bilateral relations.
The two sides discussed measures to boost the ties, especially in economics, trade, investment, tourism, marine transport, seaport services, and the cooperation with the Communist Party of Vietnam.
They agreed to maintain the exchange of high-level delegations, regularly organise consultant mechanisms, and coordinate in raising bilateral trade and boosting cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
While in Greece, the Vietnamese delegation visited several localities, historical relic sites and farm produce processing facilities, and met Governor of Edessa city Dimitrios Giannou.
The Vietnamese delegation left Greece on June 1, concluding its working visit to the European country.
Japanese media covers talks between President, Japanese PM
President Tran Dai Quang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands in their meeting in Tokyo on May 31.
Japanese media on June 1 covered the talks between President Tran Dai Quang and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a day ago, highlighting the agreements reached in multiple key areas.
Vietnam and Japan agreed to expand the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to include more countries and regions for the future benefit of both nations, reported The Nikkei newspaper from Japan.
The leaders have discussed the possibility of launching negotiations on a bilateral social welfare agreement which prevents the double payment of social security contributions for Vietnamese employers who have employees working in Japan and vice versa, the newspaper said.
Japan also pledged to provide Vietnam with 15.6 billion JPY in Official Development Assistance (ODA) to build educational establishments for human resources training in the industrial sector, it added.
In addition to cooperation in economics, the Japanese media also highlighted the Vietnam-Japan relations in East Sea issues, freedom of navigation, promotion of respect for international law, and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The two sides exchanged concerns over the current situation in the East Sea and shared common awareness of the significance of fostering peace and stability in the waters and of the demilitarization through diplomatic efforts, NHK Television reported.
PM Shinzo Abe expected that the two nations will continue taking their partnership in maritime security to a new height and pushing for the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”. He stressed that the freedom of navigation is important to the region’s peace and prosperity, reported Sankei, Mainichi, JIJI, and Kyodo News Agency.
Vietnamese, Cambodian fronts boost cooperation
Nhem Valy, Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Council of the Solidarity for the Development of Cambodian Motherland, has highly valued efforts made by the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) in building a peaceful and friendship borderline between the two countries.
Speaking at the talks between the two fronts’ delegations in Phnom Penh on May 31, Nhem Valy affirmed his country’s front also made contributions to the stability along the shared border between the two countries, and to implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the fronts of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
According to the Cambodian official, the two fronts have worked with the Vietnamese Ministry of Defence to repair and upgrade the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monuments in Cambodia.
With the active assistance provided by the Vietnamese side, Cambodia has completed the upgrade and construction of the monument of this kind in 10 provinces, he said.
For his part, Vice Chairman of the VFF Central Committee Hau A Lenh urged the two sides to roll out plans to effectively implement the Joint Statement on building the Vietnam-Cambodia border signed at the 5th international conference on building Vietnam-Cambodia border of peace, friendship, cooperation and development in Cambodia in 2017.
He asked the two sides to continue promoting communication activities to raise public awareness of the significance of nurturing bilateral relationship.
The fronts need to further enhance the exchange of delegations at all levels, he stressed.
The officials emphasized the necessity for the two sides to continue their coordination in well performing above-mentioned works in the coming time, contributing to deepening their cooperation.