Government News 12/6

Last update: 15:00 | 12/06/2018

Vietnam, Latvia hold political consultation


Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son (L) and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Andrejs Pildegovics 

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Andrejs Pildegovics conducted a political consultation in Hanoi on June 12 under an agreement between the two foreign ministries.

The two sides expressed their delight at good developments in Vietnam – Latvia traditional ties in recent time, laying stress on Vietnam Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh’s visit to Latvia in October last year.

Both officials appreciated the close bilateral collaboration at regional and international forums, particularly at the UN and Asia-Europe Meeting.

Son thanked Latvia for its commitment to backing Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 term.

Andrejs Pildegovics affirmed his country’s strong support for the early signing and ratification of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

The two officials lauded progresses in Vietnam – Latvia economic and trade cooperation.

Vietnam is the biggest trade partner of Latvia in Southeast Asia, while Latvia is the biggest trade partner of Vietnam in the Baltic region. Their two-way trade turnover hit 166 million USD in 2017, ten times higher than that of 2010. 

Welcoming the signing of a double taxation avoidance agreement, the sides agreed to soon begin negotiation of cooperation agreements on economics and education between Vietnam and Latvia to complete their legal framework for further growth of bilateral ties across multiple fields.    

The officials praised joint work performed between the two foreign ministries, highlighting their maintenance of political consultation and coordination of stance on major international issues. They reached agreement on supporting the settlement of disputes, including the East Sea issue, by peaceful measures based on international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They agreed on the importance of ensuring security and safety of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.

NZ welcomes Vietnam’s contribution in multilateral organisations


Ambassador Ta Van Thong (L) poses for a photo with the Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy 

The Governor General of New Zealand, Dame Patsy Reddy, has stressed the important role played by Vietnam in multilateral institutions when talking to the new Vietnamese Ambassador to New Zealand.

At a ceremony on June 12 to receive the credentials from Ambassador Ta Van Thong, the Governor General welcomed the strong development of bilateral ties throughout the past 43 years since the two countries set up diplomatic ties.

She recalled the successful visit to New Zealand by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc last March, and affirmed her support for lifting the two countries’ relationship to a strategic partnership in the time ahead, as well as of raising bilateral trade value to 1.7 billion USD next year.

She said Vietnam is playing an important role in the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as in such free trade agreements as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA and the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Ambassador Thong said he was honoured when being appointed to the position and pledged to do his best to bolster the friendly and cooperative ties between Vietnam and New Zealand.

Vietnam congratulates Philippines on Independence Day


Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Singapore on April 27 on the sidelines of the 32nd ASEAN Summit 

President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on June 12 sent congratulatory messages to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on the country’s 120th Independence Day (June 12).

On this occasion, Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also extended a message of congratulations to Alan Peter Cayetano, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines.

Vietnam and the Philippines established diplomatic relations on July 12, 1976. In late 2015, the two countries signed an agreement to elevate bilateral ties to the level of strategic partnership.

In recent years, Vietnam and the Philippines have witnessed progress in bilateral relations. Two-way trade surpassed 4 billion USD in 2017, an annual increase of 25 percent.

Nearly 80 participants attend the 3rd Ocean dialogue in Hanoi


Approximately 80 participants attended the 3rd event in the Ocean Dialogue series on international law and the South China Sea held in Hanoi on Monday.

The event, which was jointly held by the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam (DAV), the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and the Embassy of Australia in Hanoi saw the attendance of experts from Vietnamese government ministries, academia, the Diplomatic community in Hanoi and Australian Alumni attended the Dialogue.

According to the Australian Embassy, the Dialogue focused on recent developments in the South China Sea from a legal perspective and how stakeholders could cooperate to manage disputes in the region.

The 3rd Ocean Dialogue is timely, as in the past months developments in the South China Sea have raised security concerns for countries in the region as well as other major stakeholders, the embassy said.

China and ASEAN countries are currently negotiating the Code of Conduct of parties in the South China Sea (COC), attracting significant attention of legal experts and scholars. However, two years after the release of the Arbitral Tribunal Award in the case between the Philippines and China regarding the South China Sea, no significant improvement has been achieved to reduce disputes in the region.

Speakers at the 3rd Ocean Dialogue discussed a wide range of legal issues concerning the South China Sea, including the rule of law, the status of structures in the South China Sea, the Arbitral Tribunal Award, the idea of “joint development” between states in the South China Sea, the Code of Conduct of parties in the South China Sea, and how to promote a common interpretation on international law in the South China Sea.

In his opening speech, Dr. Le Hai Binh, Vice President of the DAV, highlighted the role of international law in maintaining rule-based international order.

"International law is the backbone for international and regional security and stability," Binh stressed. "With regard to the South China Sea, all main stakeholders explicitly announced that they abide by international law. However, their different interpretations of the international law have been a major challenge for regional cooperation."

Dr. Binh, therefore, contended that such dialogue would help promote shared understanding among experts, policy makers, and the wider audience, thus contribute to narrow perception gaps and facilitate cooperation in the South China Sea.

Resident Representative of KAS, Peter Girke, underlined that rule of law and peace are core values of KAS and that “the South China Sea is in dire need to find joint and peaceful solutions respecting international law to settle the conflicts about territorial claims. We hope that the 3rd Ocean Dialogue discussion stimulated legal experts and policy makers to further think and work on international principles of law to address these disputes”.

Speaking at the dialogue, Ms Stacey Nation, Counsellor (Political) shared that “The Australian Embassy is pleased to sponsor this Third Ocean Dialogue in support of a commitment made in Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper to support a secure, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific region in which the rights of all states are respected and in which disputes are resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law”.

Vietnam, Mozambique further foster agricultural cooperation


Delegates to the conference on “Agricultural Cooperation Promotion between Vietnam and Mozambique” pose for a photo. 

A conference on “Agricultural Cooperation Promotion between Vietnam and Mozambique” was held in the capital city of Maputo, Mozambique, on June 11 by the Embassy of Vietnam to further foster the two countries’ partnership in this area.

Opening the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to Mozambique Le Huy Hoang said the Government and people of Vietnam always attach great significance to developing ties with Mozambique and wants to strengthen the traditional bilateral relations and economic cooperation in key sectors, including agriculture. 

Hoang noted Vietnam looks to continue partnering with Mozambique and other African countries, thus contributing to ensuring food security and improving the local living standards.

Mozambican Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Francisco de Marrule spoke highly of what the Government and people of Vietnam have done to develop the economy, ensure social welfare and gain a higher status in the international arena.

Mozambique is blessed with large fertile land, favourable climate and long coastline for the development of agriculture and aquaculture, he said, adding that Mozambique is formulating new policies to facilitate foreign investors doing business in the country, particularly in agricultural production and processing. 

The minister welcomed Vietnamese businesses to enhance investment in Mozambique and suggested them focus not only on production of short-duration plants like rice and vegetables but also on high-value industrial crops such as cassava, cashew, coconuts and coffee.

Speaking at the conference, Director General of the Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique (IIAM) Olga Faftine highly valued the effectiveness of a joint project between the two countries to develop food crops in Zambezia province. Most of the objectives of the 2.2-million-USD project have been achieved, she noted.

A group of Vietnamese experts have been sent to Mozambique to work with a local centre for agriculture studies to open about 50 training courses on techniques for cultivation of rice, soybean, sweet potatos and vegetables, she stated. 

Faftine proposed Vietnam continue supporting Mozambique in the second phase of the project to ensure its sustainable results.

More efforts to enhance Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership


Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh (middle), Senator Patrick Leahy (second, right) and US friends. 

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh has highlighted the significance of the development of the Vietnam-US comprehensive partnership in different fields.

During his meetings with representatives of US agencies and friends last week, Vinh also talked about the success of high-level visits by leaders of the two nations over the past three years. 

At the meetings with Senator Patrick Leahy and US friends, Vinh thanked them for their valuable contributions to the enhancement of the comprehensive partnership. 

Vinh’s meetings with representatives of the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC) and the US Chamber of Commerce (USCC) on June 5 and May 31, attracted the participation of many leading US groups and businesses which are operating in Vietnam. 

On this occasion, the USABC and USCC hosted farewell parties for the ambassador. The two agencies lauded efforts made by the diplomat during his tenure in the US and expressed their belief that the Vietnam-US ties will continue to develop strongly in the time to come. 

Vinh assumed the post as Vietnamese Ambassador to the US in late November, 2014. Over the past three years, the Vietnam-US relationship saw progress with numerous high-level visits, including the visit to the US by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong in July 2015, the US visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc in May 2017, and the Vietnam visits by President Donald Trump in November 2017 and President Barack Obama in May 2016.

Son La, Laos’ Xaysomboun enhance collaboration


Secretary of the Son La provincial Party Committee Hoang Van Chat lauded a visit by Governor of the Lao province of Xaysomboun Thong Loi Silivong as an opportunity to raise mutual understanding during their talks in Son La on June 11. 

Chat briefed the guest on the local socio-economic development, Party building, external activities, and outstanding results in agriculture and investment attraction over the past time. 

He said over the past years, Son La has offered support to northern Lao provinces, including Xaysomboun, in building key facilities and developing agriculture with technical support, materials and varieties, and selling farm produce. 

Silivong, who is also Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said Xaysomboun mostly relies on hydropower plants and agriculture and expressed his wish that the two provinces will share experience and support each other in the field. 

Both sides agreed to raise public awareness of the tradition of special friendship and solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, and between Son La and Xaysomboun in particular. 

They will jointly hold major celebrations and exchanges and facilitate visits at all levels while enhancing partnership in agriculture, trade promotion, and sharing experience in the fields of culture, health care and education. 

Concluding the talks, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation for the 2018-2020 period, under which Son La will provide 5 billion VND (219,750 USD) to Xaysomboun to build a workforce training establishment.

At current, 37 students from Xaysomboun are pursuing study in universities and colleges in Son La, contributing to strengthening the special friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the Parties, States and people of Vietnam and Laos, and between Son La and Xaysomboun in particular.

HCM City leader meets outgoing UK ambassador

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan hosted a reception for outgoing UK Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever in the city on June 11.

Nhan highly valued contributions of the UK Ambassador to the development of the two countries’ ties.

He proposed that the UK assist Ho Chi Minh City in developing a smart city, noting that the city has planned to build an administrative centre in the Thu Thiem urban area and a contest on designs for the centre will be held soon. 

The municipal leader also hailed contributions of the UK ambassador in improving Vietnam’s legal system, including anti-corruption regulations.

He underscored that the Vietnamese Government has paid due attention to transparency, while listening to public opinions and giving prominence to the role of the press in fighting corruption.

Ambassador Lever noted that the UK-Vietnam cooperation has been deepened over the past four years in the traditional areas of trade and education, and expanded to other fields such as anti-corruption.

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s efforts in strengthening the prevention and fight of corruption and encouraging transparency as well as the press’s involvement in anti-corruption, which is an important factor to avoid corruption.

In late 2018, the UK will launch a programme to give technical assistance to Vietnam in improving business environment, intelligence property, capital management, and finance, he said.

Lever added that Ho Chi Minh City is one of the 40 cities around the world receiving support from the UK to build smart cities.

Vietnam, Mozambique further foster agricultural cooperation, HCM City leader meets outgoing UK ambassador, Vietnam, Latvia hold political consultation, NZ welcomes Vietnam’s contribution in multilateral organisations