Government News 16/4

Last update: 16:11 | 16/04/2018

Vietnam, Pakistan hold second political consultation


Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dang Dinh Quy co-chairs the 2nd Vietnam-Pakistan political consultation in Islamabad capital on April 13.

Vietnam and Pakistan held their second political consultation in Islamabad capital of the Muslim country on April 13, during which they lauded their close collaboration and were unanimous to support each other at regional and international forums.

At the meeting, co-chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dang Dinh Quy and his Pakistani counterpart Tehmina Janjua, the two sides reached consensus that the foreign ministries should uphold their core role in promoting bilateral cooperation in various fields.

They highlighted the importance of high-level meetings and people-to-people exchanges while agreeing to accelerate the meeting of the inter-governmental committee on economic, cultural and sci-technological cooperation in 2018.

As part of the efforts to enhance economic, trade and investment ties, both sides consented to speed up the meeting of the sub-committee on trade cooperation this year to set out initiatives and practical and flexible measures to reach the target of 1 billion USD in two-way trade by 2020.

Vietnam and Pakistan will increase exchange of business delegations to optimise investment and business opportunities, they said.

The Pakistani side noted that it welcomes Vietnam’s traditional products like tea, pepper and basa fish.

Agriculture, culture-sports, tourism, connections, information and communication, and exchanges of intellectuals are among the fields of potential cooperation between the two sides.

The 3rd Vietnam-Pakistan political consultation will be held in Hanoi in 2019.

Vietnamese ambassador works to enhance ties with Algerian locality


Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Pham Quoc Tru (R) in Tamanrasset 

Vietnamese Ambassador to Algeria Pham Quoc Tru paid a working trip to the southern province of Tamanrasset from April 10-13. 

During his stay, he held working sessions with Governor of Tamanrasset province Doumi Djillali and leaders of the provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry, during which both sides discussed respective socio-economic development, business opportunities and specific measures to further lift bilateral economic ties. 

The provincial authorities expressed wish to boost ties with Vietnam in the fields of trade, agriculture, mining and tourism. 

On the occasion, the embassy partnered with the provincial Chamber of Commerce and Industry to hold a round-table seminar to introduce opportunities for bilateral cooperation in export-import and investment, with more than 30 firms taking part. 

Speaking at the event, Tru stressed the need to clear existing barriers to trade and investment, refine synchronous legal framework with support measures, and make it easier for the two countries’ enterprises to join each other’s market. 

He also unveiled a plan to hold a business forum on tourism scheduled for September to which Tamanrasset’s travel agencies will be invited. 

Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor Hoang Duc Nhuan briefed participants about Vietnam – Algeria economic, trade and investment ties over the past years and future development prospects. He also introduced a French-language book entitled “Handbook of doing business with Vietnam” and a list of prestigious international fairs and exhibitions held in Vietnam. 

While in Tamanrasset, the Vietnamese delegation visited several local firms major in manufacturing construction stones and agricultural farms.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong during a working session in Dong Thap 


General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong visited the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap on April 13-14 to inspect its socio-economic performance and Party and political system building. 

During a working session with the provincial authorities on April 14, the Party leader praised the province for gaining outstanding achievements in various fields, with a number of effective models and new practical initiatives.

He noted that economic development is a core task, Party building is a crucial task while national defence-security is a regular task. 

Currently, average income per capita in Dong Thap reaches over 36 million VND, lower than the country’s average of more than 50 million VND so that the province needs to strive more, he said. 

The leader called for attention to streamlining apparatus, strengthening ties with Cambodia, neighbouring and border localities to facilitate people-to-people exchange, and improving residential management. 

He attached importance to Party building and rectification as well as fighting corruption, negative phenomena and wastefulness. 

The Party chief suggested devising specific goals and breakthrough measures between now and 2020. 

The provincial authorities proposed State funding for transport infrastructure, including Cao Lanh – My An and An Huu – Cao Lanh sections.  

They also asked for refining regulations on extending land quota and switch to goods-based agricultural economy. 

Dong Thap is one of the three localities to be chosen to pilot agricultural restructuring. After three years, local farmers and firms have gradually switched agricultural production to agricultural economy, towards building a farm produce chain that meets market demand. A number of high-tech farming models have been launched. 

The province now ranks first nationwide in terms of tra fish output and third in rice production, and becomes a key hub of fruits in the region, with many being exported to demanding markets such as the US, Japan, the UK and Australia. 

Community and agricultural tourism have also contributed to increasing value of farming sector and farmers’ income. 

Dong Thap also leads the region in labour export with thousands of young workers landing jobs overseas, bringing home trillions of VND. They are also behind a number of start-up projects. 

The locality is now home to 45 club houses with nearly 2,000 members with an aim to inspire farmers’ innovation in the spirit of self-control and mutual support. 

In the morning the same day, General Secretary Trong offered incense and flowers at a relic site dedicated to Nguyen Sinh Sac – father of President Ho Chi Minh in Cao Lanh city.

Earlier on April 13, at a working session on April 13 with authorities of Tan Thuan Tay commune which was recognised as new-style rural area in late 2017, the Party chief lauded local authorities and people for their achievements over the past years. 

He wished that they would continue staying united to deal with emerging issues and reap new successes. 

Later, he visited Tam Que club-house, one of the two operating in the community model. Last month, it formed an organic mango farming group to bring practical benefits to local residents, which was lauded by the Party chief as effective and should be expanded to other localities. 

On the occasion, he presented gifts to several outstanding households in the commune.

EU – leading strategic partner of Vietnam: PM


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chairs a meeting to evaluate cooperation with the EU in Hanoi on April 14. 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc laid stress on the significance of bolstering cooperation with the European Union (EU), a leading strategic partner of Vietnam in economy, trade and investment while chairing a meeting to evaluate bilateral collaboration in the past time in Hanoi on April 14.

Two-way trade has seen fruitful results, with the EU being the second largest importer of Vietnam and the destination for 18 percent of Vietnamese exports, he said, noting that the union was the third biggest trade partner of Vietnam with two-way trade reaching some 50 billion USD in 2017.

Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus of 31.8 billion USD with the EU, he added.

He also pointed out some factors that hinder two-way trade like the “yellow card” issued by the European Commission for Vietnamese seafood. The local business climate should be improved while administrative procedures need to be streamlined to facilitate trade and investment between Vietnam and the EU, he added.

At the meeting, the Government leader ordered relevant ministries to closely work with the EU’s bodies to complete the signing and ratification of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement (EVFTA) at the end of 2018, creating a breakthrough for economic and trade cooperation between the two sides.

The EVFTA, a new-generation free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU’s 28 member states, is a comprehensive and high-quality trade pact that balances benefits for both Vietnam and the EU as well as is in line with regulations of the World Trade Organisation.

Leaders of Vietnam and the EU finished negotiations for the deal in 2015.

HCM City promotes collaboration with Cuban localities


Permanent Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang (R) receives President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP) Fernando Gonzalez Llort

Ho Chi Minh City will implement a host of activities to boost friendship and cooperation with Cuban sectors and localities in the coming time, a municipal official has noted.

At a reception for visiting President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples (ICAP) Fernando Gonzalez Llort on April 13, Permanent Vice Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Tat Thanh Cang thanked the Cuban people for their support for Vietnam during the past struggle for national independence.

He stated Ho Chi Minh City will spare no effort to foster Vietnam – Cuba traditional friendship.

He congratulated Cuba on its recent socio-economic progress, saying he admired the country’s significant achievements in bio-research, health and education despite difficulties from trade embargo.   

For his part, Fernando Gonzalez Llort highlighted the recent visit to Cuba by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, saying it asserted a strong determination to boost bilateral ties and laid a foundation for further engagements between the two Parties and peoples.

Expressing his impression on the dynamic development of Vietnam’s southern hub, the ICAP President affirmed the institute’s willingness to further its joint work with HCM City and commitment to cementing Vietnam – Cuba relations.

HCM City wishes to expand partnership with German state


Overview of the meeting 

Ho Chi Minh City wishes to foster collaboration with Rheinland Pfalz state of Germany in various fields, especially economy and education, stated Le Thanh Liem, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee at a meeting with Volker Wissing, the state’s Minister of Economics, Transport, Agriculture and Viticulture in the city on April 13.

Liem held that the two localities boast high potential of cooperation, saying that Rheinland Pfalz state could support HCM City in some areas that the city is focusing on, including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Once the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union takes effect, the partnership between the two localities will have abundant chances to expand, he said.

Speaking highly of Germany’s education, Liem said he hopes in the coming time, Rheinland Pfalz state will connect Ho Chi Minh City with its education experts and facilities to exchange experience in dealing with problems that the city is facing in the field.

He also suggested that the German side strengthen cooperation in coping with challenges in high-tech agriculture and eco-agriculture as well as share experience in developing support industry in the city.

The municipal leader pledged that the city always welcomes and creates favourable conditions for foreign investors, especially those from Germany, to do long-term business in the city.

For his part, Wissing said that his visit is part of activities to implement a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Rheinland Pfalz state and Vietnam, which was signed during the recent Germany visit of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

He said that his visit has created a good chance for the state’s businesses to seek partnerships with their peers in Ho Chi Minh City, while providing more opportunities for the two localities to step up collaboration in economy, education and tourism.

Wissing underscored that Rheinland Pfalz state firms are very interested with Ho Chi Minh City’s market and hoped that the city will back them in joining the market, especially in areas of biotechnology, machinery manufacturing, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and viticulture.

Trade between Ho Chi Minh City and Germany hit 2 billion USD in 2017. Currently, the city is hosting 137 German-funded projects worth 250 million USD, making Germany the 14th biggest out of 93 countries and territories investing in the city.

Ho Chi Minh City is also home to the German House, a symbol of the Vietnam-Germany sound relationship.

Vietnamese, Lao fronts discuss enhanced ties


President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man (R) and President of the Lao Front for National Construction Central Committee Xaysomphone Phomvihane 

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man received President of the Lao Front for National Construction Central Committee Xaysomphone Phomvihane in Hanoi on April 13.

Mentioning Vietnam – Laos solidarity cultivated by both sides’ leaders, Man affirmed the Vietnamese Government, Party, National Assembly, Front and people always give priority to cementing the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation with Laos.

The front leader suggested both sides work together to build plans to realise their memorandum of understanding on cooperation and the joint communiqué on outcomes of an international conference on building a Vietnam – Laos borderline of peace, friendship and comprehensive cooperation for 2017 – 2020.

He asked the Lao Front for National Construction to push for facilitating the searching and repatriation of remains of Vietnamese volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos during wartime and to propose the Lao Party and Government create favourable conditions for Vietnamese expatriates in the country.

Expressing his delight at fruitful growth of the Vietnam – Laos relations, Xaysomphone Phomvihane stressed activities marking the two countries’ 55 years of diplomatic ties and 40 years of signing of their Treaty on Amity and Cooperation in 2017 contributed to educating their people, particularly youths, on the special relationship.

He said the two fronts’ cooperation has achieved effective outcomes via joint programmes, and delegation and experience exchanges.

The Lao official highlighted his belief that the visit to Vietnam will help his front understand more about the VFF’s ideology and history, thus contributing to further enhancing the Vietnam – Laos traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.

PM urges faster progress of HCM City’s metro project


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the meeting 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has underlined the Government’s determination to speed up the progress of Ho Chi Minh City’s metro project to serve the city’s development, reduce traffic congestions and effectively use capital.

During a meeting in Hanoi on April 13, PM Phuc stressed the need to strictly and fully abide by legal regulations while preventing negative acts and corruption in the implementation of the project.

He asked the People’s Committee of HCM City to deal with troubles regarding the project, while making dossiers on the construction of the project and submit them to authorized agencies for verification.

The Ministry of Transport was assigned to complete a verification report after consultations with relevant ministries and is responsible for the verification of concerned aspects such as economics, technology and total investment. 

The PM also requested other relevant ministries and sectors to prepare explanation for issues under their management if required by the National Assembly.

HCM City’s metro project was the first proposed in 2001 as part of a comprehensive public transport plan for HCM City and neighbouring provinces to mitigate traffic congestions.

It includes three monorail lines with a total length of 37km and six partly underground metro routes running a total of 107km from Ben Thanh to Suoi Tien, Ben Thanh to Tham Luong, Ben Thanh to Binh Tan, Lang Cha Ca to Van Thanh, Thu Thiem to Can Giuoc, and Ba Queo – Phu Lam. Ben Thanh will be a hub connecting all the lines.

According to the initial estimates in 2007, total investment of the project was 17 trillion VND (around 749 million USD). However, a recent calculation of Japanese consultant joint venture, verified by a Singaporean independent consultant unit, showed that total cost must be 47 trillion VND (2.07 billion USD). So far, 51 percent of the project’s workload has been completed and the project is scheduled to be finished in 2020.

Iranian Parliament Speaker to visit Vietnam

Speaker of the Parliament of Iran Ali Ardeshir Larijani will pay an official visit to Vietnam from April 15-18.

The visit will be made at the invitation of Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, announced the NA’s Committee for External Relations.

Vietnam and Iran set up diplomatic ties on August 4, 1973. Since then, they have continuously enhanced bilateral cooperation in all fields and supported each other at global multilateral forums.

Condolences sent to Algeria over military plane crash


Scene of the military plane crash near the Boufarik airbase outside Algeria’s capital, Algiers, on April 11 

President Tran Dai Quang on April 13 cabled a message of condolences to his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika over a recent military plane crash which claimed many lives.

An Algerian airplane carrying mostly soldiers crashed near the Boufarik airbase outside Algeria’s capital, Algiers, on April 11.

The aircraft went down shortly after takeoff, killing at least 257 people aboard.

PM requests support for youths to promote start-up


PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (white shirt, front line) and representatives of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union Central Committee. 

Young people, especially university students and youths working in businesses, should be supported to promote start-up and scientific research, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said. 

PM Phuc made the request at a working session with the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) Central Committee in Hanoi on April 13 to review the implementation of a joint resolution between the Government and the HCYU Central Committee since the national congress of the union last December, and set forth youth union affairs in 2018. 

“We should begin with youths when embarking on the knowledge-based economy, the fourth industrial revolution and the digital economy as they are the core force,” he said. 

The PM emphasised the need to increase activities in order to promote the pioneer role of youngsters, especially those in the armed forces and schools, in socio-economic development, national defence and security, social welfare and the fight against peaceful evolution. 

He asked administrations at all levels and the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs to pay due attention to job-related issues and vocational guidance for young people. 

PM Phuc also emphasized the organization of cultural, art, sport and entertainment activities for youths, particularly those in industrial parks as well as rural and remote areas. 

To understand young people’s aspirations, agencies and localities need to increase dialogues with them, he said, urging youth union organisations pay more heed to communications campaigns to contribute to preventing bad deeds among youngsters. 

At the working session, the PM applauded significant contributions made by youths to socio-economic development in 2017 despites difficulties and challenges at home and abroad.

Vietnam, Czech Republic seek to tap cooperation potential


Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, speaks at the event. 

Vietnam and the Czech Republic have substantial potential for investment and trade cooperation in many spheres, heard a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on April 13. 

Vo Tan Thanh, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said both Vietnamese and Czech economies are growing with high rates, and deeply integrating into the global economy, which has created many opportunities for bilateral collaboration in economy, trade and investment. 

The Czech  Republic is one of Vietnam’s largest trade partners in Central and Eastern Europe, with two-way trade exceeding 257 million USD in 2017, of which Vietnam’s exports to the Czech Republic were over 151 million USD. 

In the first two months of 2018, export-import turnover between the two countries hit nearly 50 million USD, up 31.3 percent year-on-year, he said.

Vietnam’s major exports to the Czech Republic include footwear, garments-textiles, mobile phones, electronic components, farm produce and aquatic products. 

Meanwhile, the country mainly imports machines, equipment, chemicals, and mechanical, pharmaceuticals and crystal products from the Czech Republic. 

By the end of February 2018, the Czech Republic had invested in 36 projects in Vietnam with total registered capital of over 90 million USD, ranking 49th among 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam. Vietnamese enterprises have also invested in four projects worth some 4.5 million USD in the Czech Republic. 

However, Thanh said, such outcomes have yet to reflect cooperation potential and strength of each country, explaining that businesses of the two countries lack information about the respective markets. 

Vladimir Bartl, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, said Czech businesses have advantages in energy, infrastructure construction, automation, and financial and insurance services. 

Additionally, the Czech Republic has capacity and experience in urban development planning and public transport operation which are of Vietnam’s priorities, he said. 

The official stressed that the Czech Republic has regarded Vietnam as an important partner and market in its strategy to expand business in Asia. 

Czech firms want to cooperate with Vietnamese partners in mechanical manufacturing, energy, cement and constructional material production, medical equipment supply, aviation and environmental protection, he said. 

Vladimir Bartl said the enhancement of trade ties between Vietnam and the Czech Republic will help the two countries utilise their respective market while helping them expand market shares in Europe and Asia. 

Experts at the workshop suggested intensifying connectivity between businesses of the two countries and promoting trade and investment activities.

Businesses of each nations also should take the initiative in studying the respective markets to promptly grasp investment and businesses opportunities, they said.

Party chief commends An Giang on clear orientation for development


Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has a working session with An Giang’s key officials on April 15 

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has commended An Giang for defining clear orientation for development, noting that the Mekong Delta province has good potential of growth and the local contingent of officials have high determination. 

The Party leader held a working session with An Giang’s key officials on April 15 as part of his two-day trip to the province to inspect the implementation of socio-economic and defence-security tasks as well as the performance in building the Party and political system. 

Stressing that An Giang has a strategic position in the Mekong Delta, General Secretary Trong acknowledged that the province has made important achievements in the recent time, as seen in improved infrastructure, better living conditions of residents and lower poverty rate among households. 

He also noted that the local leadership has constantly been strengthened, helping the province well implement the Party Central Committee’s resolutions and accelerate administrative reform. 

He expressed hope for the province’s stronger development in its chosen direction of developing hi-quality and high-value agriculture, considering many untapped advantages and potential. 

The Party General Secretary shared with local officials worry that the tasks ahead are heavy with high requirements while there are many shortcomings in existing policies and mechanisms plus the difficulties in sourcing capital, adding that those problems are not only of An Giang but also many other localities. 

Therefore, An Giang should strive to have more creative ideas and effective measures to carry out the Party’s policies, he said. In order to do that, the province needs a contingent of capable officials, Party members and civil workers, and a strong Party organisation and political system, he said. 

He noted and welcomed the province’s five proposals on transport connectivity; erosion prevention; response to climate change and rising sea level; policies to create land fund for attracting investment and developing agriculture; and support for border localities. 

The Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Vo Thi Anh Xuan reported to the Party leader that the poverty rate in the province has dropped to 5.24 percent. 

The province has adopted a project on creating a land fund for hi-tech agriculture, which helped attracted many investors in agriculture. During two years 2016 and 2017, An Giang attracted 45 investment projects in this sector with total capital of over 7.2 trillion VND (316.8 million USD), up 30 projects and 6 trillion VND compared to the figures in 2015.

Also during the trip, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong toured My Phu commune in Chau Phu district, and visited the construction site of Cao Lanh Bridge across Tien River, one of the two tributaries of Mekong River. He also visited and presented gifts to Vietnamese Heroic Mother Le Thi Tai in Long Xuyen city.

HCMC, Hokkaido foster hi-tech agricultural cooperation


HCM City's authorities have identified hi-tech agriculture as a key sector and expect the city to be a research center on developing and supplying crop and animal strains in the southern region.

Chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong said at a meeting with governor of the Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido Harumi Takahashi on April 11.

Mr. Nguyen Thanh Phong wished that HCMC will have experience exchanges on this field with Hokkaido hoping that institutes and businesses of the prefecture will provide cooperation on transfering techonoly of cultivation and breeding of plant and animal strains, packing and storage of qualifying agricultural products to Vietnamese partners.

According to HCMC Mayor, 14 investment projects worth nearly US$5 million of Hokkaido's enterprises have being operated in the city. Vietnam is the leading trade partner of Hokkaido in the Southeast Asia.

The chairman believed HCMC will receive more investors from Hokkaido, especially businesses who invest in the smart farming models will gain success due to advantages of abundant human resources, large consumer market, high demand of safe farm products. Hokkaido is also home to the largest number of Vietnamese laborers.

Governor of Hokkaido prefecture Harumi Takahashi warmly welcomed the HCMC delegation. She expected the two sides will continue to boost connection and cooperation in cultural, trade, scientific and techonoligical exchanges to diversify relationship between Japan and Vietnam, particularly HCMC.

On the same day, the delegation visited J-Farm which has applied advanced agricultural tech in planting tomato and vegebtables. The total yield of the enterprise is estimated to reach at about 100 tons of leaf products/ha/year and 100 tons of tomatos/1.5ha/year.

They also paid a visit to Hokkaido University and met Vietnamese teacher of Can Tho Univeristy, Nguyen Thanh Tinh who is studying in the univeristy for postgraduate degrees in the field of agricultural robotics.

Vietnam, Pakistan hold second political consultation, Vietnamese ambassador works to enhance ties with Algerian locality, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong during a working session in Dong Thap