GOVERNMENT IN BRIEF 29/6
State President Sang’s activities in Indonesia
State President Truong Tan Sang on June 28 met with Indonesian Speaker of the House of Representatives Marzuki Alie, and attended a business forum as part of his ongoing official visit to the country.
At the meeting with Speaker Marzuki Alie, President Sang congratulated Indonesia on its recent achievements, acknowledging its high economic growth, its moves towards sustainable development, and its successful implementation of the 2011–2025 Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development.
Sang briefed the host on the result of his earlier talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, highlighting the mutual decision to lift bilateral ties to an official strategic partnership.
Marzukiagreed that establishing a strategic partnership is an important landmark in the history of the two nations’ relationship.
Both leaders shared a desire to promote cooperative ties between their two parliaments, sharing legislative and negotiation experience. They said signing a cooperative agreement between the Vietnam National Assembly and the Indonesian House of Representatives will lay a proper legal foundation for this cooperation.
Marzuki affirmed the Indonesian Parliament will discuss the potential for an Indonesia-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group with Vietnam NA representatives.
On the same day, President Sang met with the leaders of especially successful Indonesian businesses in aviation, petroleum, coal, rice, real estate, food, and pharmaceuticals.
Sang said the two countries need to take advantage of their position at the centre of the dynamic Southeast Asian region and effectively make use of dialogues and multilateral mechanism like the ASEAN Free Trade Area, the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the World Trade Organisation.
The President confirmed Vietnam’s willingness to foster the best possible conditions for Indonesian businesses within its borders and expressed hopes Indonesian authorities would follow suit.
Vietnam can learn from Indonesia’s progress in management, human resource development, and international economic development, he said.
Earlier, President Sang and his entourage laid wreaths at the Kalibata Heroes Cemetery in Jakarta. The cemetery is the place of internment for national heroes, leaders, famous artists, and 7,000 of the martyrs who died during Indonesia’s struggle for national independence.
Vietnam-Indonesia joint statement released
Vietnam and Indonesia have issued a joint statement during President Truong Tan Sang’s official visit to Indonesia on June 27-28, agreeing to elevate the long-standing bilateral relationship to a new height.
Following is the full text of the joint statement:
1. At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, H.E. Truong Tan Sang paid a State visit to the Republic of Indonesia on June 27 – 28, 2013.
2. During the visit, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Truong Tan Sang held talks in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. The two leaders exchanged views and highly valued the traditional relations of friendship and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Indonesia that have been well maintained and developed with remarkable achievements, serving the well-being of the two nations, especially since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1955.
3. The two leaders were committed to elevating the long-standing bilateral relationship to a new height and decided to establish the Strategic Partnership between Vietnam and Indonesia built upon the basis of the Declaration between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Republic of Indonesia on the Framework of Friendly and Comprehensive Partnership entering the 21 st century (2003) and the Indonesia - Vietnam Plan of Action in the period of 2012 - 2015 (2011).
4. The Strategic Partnership shall also conform to the principles of the UN and ASEAN Charters, the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, and other universally recognised norms of international law.
5. In light of the Strategic Partnership, the two leaders agreed to intensify the exchange of high-level visits and to further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in all fields. Both leaders tasked the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with relevant Ministries, to formulate Plans of Action for the Strategic Partnership that provides ways and means to ensure the concrete and effective implementation of the Strategic Partnership. The two leaders also stressed the importance for both countries to periodically review the implementation of the Strategic Partnership through bilateral cooperation mechanisms, namely the Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation and the Joint Commission on Economics, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.
6. On defense and security cooperation, the two leaders supported further effective implementation of the MOU on Promotion of Cooperation of Defence Officials and Related Activities (2010), the Agreement on Cooperation of Criminal Combating and Prevention (2005) and the Terms of Reference on Navy to Navy Talks (2012), particularly in promoting capacity building and exchange personnel. The two leaders also encouraged the enhancement of cooperation in national defense industry and non-traditional security fields.
7. On trade, the two leaders appreciated the steadily growing two-way trade and were committed to pushing forward the progressive, balanced and sustainable two-way trade cooperation. The two leaders were optimistic that the target of US$5 billion in trade volume could be surpassed before 2015 and agreed to set a new target of US$10 billion in trade volume by 2018.
8. The two leaders shared a positive assessment on the growing investment cooperation and were committed to continue promoting a more attractive and favourable environment for greater investment and trade. The President of Indonesia expressed his hope for the continued support and assistance of the Vietnamese Government for the increasing economic presence of Indonesia in Vietnam.
9. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing bilateral cooperation aiming at achieving sustainable food and energy security through trade, investment and joint research and development. On food security, the two leaders welcomed the extension of the MoU on Rice Trade to 2017 and agreed to strengthen cooperation in food production and quality control as well as stock management. On energy security, the two leaders encouraged business community of the two countries to actively explore energy and mineral resources cooperation, including on developing eco-friendly mining industry, coal and minerals trade, electricity generation as well as new and renewable energy.
10. The two leaders observed the progress in the fisheries and aquaculture cooperation and emphasized the need for both countries to further implement the MoU on Marine and Fisheries Cooperation (2010) to further tap the high potentials of cooperation in this area and to address illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing, including on the arrangement for returning fishermen caught or arrested due to (IUU) fishing.
11. The two leaders directed the technical team to expedite their discussion for the early conclusion on delimitation of the exclusive economic zone and, without prejudice to the final settlement of maritime boundary delimitation, encouraged both sides to find a temporary solution to facilitate cooperation in marine and fisheries affairs.
12. The two leaders were determined to continue to strengthen people to people links by enhancing cooperation in the fields of education, culture and tourism. In this regard, the two leaders agreed to revitalize the MoU on Education Cooperation (2005), promote closer cooperation in developing eco-tourism and MICE industry as well as to strengthen cultural cooperation, including within the framework of Trail of Civilization.
13. The two leaders agreed to further intensify the work of ASEAN in realising an ASEAN community 2015 that is politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible to take advantage of current and future opportunity and effectively respond to regional and international challenges.
14. President of Truong Tan Sang reiterated his commitment to provide continuous active support during Indonesia’s Chairmanship of APEC in 2013. While President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono assured Indonesia’s full support to Vietnam in the latter’s Chairmanship of APEC in 2017. President Yudhoyono also invited President Truong Tan Sang for the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders Meeting in Bali in October 2013.
15. On the East Sea, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability, maritime security in the region and reaffirmed the collective commitments under the DOC to ensuring the peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The two leaders expressed their full support for the ASEAN’s six-point Principles on the East Sea and welcomed the commencement of the discussion on the COC between ASEAN and China and looked forward to the continuation of discussions on the COC towards to the early conclusion of a Regional Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
16. Upon conclusion of the bilateral meeting, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the agreements, namely the Agreement on Extradition, Agreement on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Commodities Cooperation. On the sidelines of the State visit, the Memorandum of Understanding on Energy and Mineral Resources Cooperation, the Memorandum of Understanding on Financial Cooperation, and the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Vietnam and Indonesia were also signed. The two leaders instructed the relevant Ministries of the two countries to actively implement these documents.
17. President Truong Tan Sang expressed their gratitude for the warm hospitality extended by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono accepted the kind invitation by President Truong Tan Sang to visit Vietnam at a mutually convenient time.
Fatherland Front delegation visits France
A high-ranking delegation from the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee, led by Chairman Huynh Dam, has paid a working visit to Francefrom June 26-29.
During their stay in France, the delegation and Vietnamese Ambassador to France Duong Chi Dung worked with leaders of the French Communist Party (PCF).
They also met with the leader of the Union of Overseas Vietnamese in France (UGFV) to strengthen friendship and cooperation in various fields between the two countries.
During their meetings, both sides said they are pleased with the effective cooperation between the Vietnamese and French Communist Parties.
Leaders of the French agencies pledged to create more favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in France and help Vietnam organize activities to mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties between the two nations this year
Huynh Dam spoke highly of the valuable assistance the PCF and French people have given to Vietnam during its past struggle for national independence and its current process of national development.
He called for more French support to help Vietnam overcome difficulties and integrate into the world economy.
Dam also emphasized that the Communist Party of Vietnam attaches importance to enhancing its traditional relationship with the PCF as the two Parties have a time-honoured solidarity developed and nurtured by late President Ho Chi Minh.
The Chairwoman of the French Council of State, Isabelle de Ameida, voiced her support for Vietnam’s initiatives to organize diplomatic ties’ celebrations and said the PCF wants to hold regular seminars between the two Parties to exchange views and deal with the challenges they face.
The two sides also touched upon issues of mutual concern such as the financial crisis, socio-economic development, employment, and poverty reduction.
They shared the common view that unhealthy competition may lead to conflicts among states and peoples. They also said climate change is a great threat that requires stronger cooperation between the two countries to develop their economies and protect their environments.
During his meeting with representatives of overseas Vietnamese in France, Huynh Dam affirmed that they will always be an indispensable portion of the Vietnamese people. He also encouraged Vietnamese nationals to strengthen unity and continue making contributions to their homeland.
Leaders meet with voters in Hanoi, Ha Tinh
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong on June 28 met with voters in Hanoi’s Ba Dinh district to inform them of the outcomes of the recent National Assembly session.
Voters expressed their delight at the session’s move towards further democracy, especially the first ever vote of confidence undertaken to assess the performance of 47 officials elected or approved by the NA and agreed that the vote reflects its supreme supervisory role.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong meets with Hanoi voters
However, they also pointed to various social problems, including urban transport, environmental sanitation, food hygiene, as well as the construction of cultural houses in residential areas and places of entertainment for children, especially during the summer holidays.
Party leader Trong took note of voters’ opinions and said he will relay them to the NA, relevant ministries and sectors.
He said that conducting the vote of confidence is to assess the confidence in not only the National Assembly but also Party agencies.
This will help prompt officials to improve their performance, the leader said.
As for the East Sea issue, the Party chief said it relates to many countries, maritime freedom and safety, and national sovereignty, independence and regional peace and stability, and needs to be solved in a clear-minded and sound manner.
The Party Central Committee, NA and Government attach great importance to this issue, reflected through a strategy on sea and islands, the passage of the Law on the Sea and the establishment of a steering committee on the East Sea.
Vietnam has manifested its clear and consistent position of solving the East Sea issue by peaceful means in respect to international law at regional and international forums and through bilateral and multilateral diplomatic channels, he added.
He affirmed the country will continue implementing a Party Resolution on Party building, stressing that this is an issue of strategic significance.
Also on June 28, NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung met with voters in Thach Ha commune in the central province of Ha Tinh.
Voters expressed hope that the legislative body will pay more attention to investment in building new rural areas and policies for people who rendered services to the country, and the completion of amendments to the 1992 Constitution.
They also raised opinions on the revised Land Law, and asked authorised agencies to issue at an early date a document on employment for people who have their agricultural land revoked and to deal with all shortcomings in land management.
The Party and State should take more drastic measures to combat and prevent corruption, they added.
NA Chairman Hung asked local People’s Councils to make preparations for the vote of confidence on officials they elected to ensure the work will be implemented carefully and objectively.
Conducting a vote of confidence should strengthen solidarity among people and authorities, as well as implementing socio-economic development goals, he said.
Vietnam an active, responsible ASEAN member
Vietnam will spare no effort in joining with other ASEAN member nations to build a strong, united ASEAN for regional peace, security, stability and development.
President Truong Tan Sang reiterated Vietnam’s consistent policy while addressing the ASEAN Secretariat in Indonesia on June 28.
ASEAN has set a target of completing the establishment of a united community by 2015. It has proved itself part and parcel of regional cooperation mechanisms in Southeast Asia, East Asia and Asia and the Pacific at large, creating a peaceful and stable environment for common cooperation and development.
President Sang noted ASEAN’s 46-year history has taught it the value of mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation against confrontation, and solidarity and consensus against separation and imposition.
These lessons have helped the regional bloc to overcome challenges encountered during the course of its maturation, eventually uniting all 10 Southeast Asian nations under a common banner of progress and cooperation.
He stressed ASEAN’s establishment testifies to its members’ ability to move on from any historical differences and create an environment of regional amiability, increased internal connectivity, and expanded relations with non-ASEAN partners.
He described the grouping’s approval of the 2008 Charter and the 2009 ASEAN community blueprint as a strategically sound step towards ensuring the region’s integration and cooperation can meet its development requirements in the new century.
President Sang attributed ASEAN’s achievements to its foundations of solidarity, consensus, consultation, progress, and respect. The interests of each individual member state are considered in terms of common regional goals like peace and prosperity while never losing sight of the diversity of history, culture, language, political systems, and economic development levels the grouping successfully encompasses.
In the context of regional and international complexity, where opportunities and challenges are often intertwined, he called on ASEAN to honour its traditional identity, maintain its steadfastness, and proactively address emerging issues.
He urged the association to pool all the resources necessary for building the ASEAN Community by 2015 and continue along its positive march well into the next decade.
According to Sang, ASEAN should broaden its vision beyond the mere formation of the community and consider its long-term development after December 31, 2015.
He said the 600 million-strong economic community, representing a total GDP of US$2,100 billion, should maintain its dynamic growth. He welcomed efforts to expand economic, trade and investment relations, realise free trade agreements between member countries, and begin work on an FTA covering the whole of East Asia.
He threw Vietnam’s support behind the goals of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia (CEPEA) — a market that includes nearly half of the world's population and contributes one third of global GDP.
He said ASEAN should expand its role at other regional integration frameworks such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
President Sang called on ASEAN to actively promote its own value and effectiveness in fostering an environment of peace and security, highlighting regional tools such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (SEANWFZ), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and the hopes for an eventual Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
He stressed the importance of marine security, safety, and freedom in the East Sea, stating its relevance to the region as a whole. ASEAN should use its influence to help realise the general principles expressed in its Six-Point Principle on the East Sea and promote trust-building and dispute resolution dialogues that accord with international legal precedents like the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and towards building the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
President Sang recognised the ASEAN Secretariat’s duties, responsibilities, and abilities and reaffirmed Vietnam’s readiness to assist the body in fulfilling its tasks.
Defence Minister receives RoK maritime police
Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh yesterday hosted a reception for a high-level delegation from the Republic of Korea's Maritime Police High Command.
Defence co-operation between Viet Nam and the RoK has developed significantly in recent times, Thanh told the visiting guests, who are being led by Senior Colonel Choi Sang Hwan, head of the High Command's Equipment and Technology Division.
The minister praised the relations between Viet Nam's Maritime Police and its RoK counterparts, which revolves around training and experience sharing.
Senior Colonel Hwan said he hoped the co-operation between the two countries' armies and maritime police forces will continue to grow.
Co-operation key in ASEAN
Viet Nam supports efforts to reinforce trust building and co-operation for peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea, Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh has affirmed.
Speaking at an ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting, the first in the series of activities during the 46th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM-46), held yesterday in Brunei's capital of Banda Seri Begawan, Vinh highly valued ASEAN's efforts in building its community, expanding co-operation with its partners and promoting the group's central role in co-operation for peace, stability, development, and effective response to emerging challenges.
In the context of unpredictable developments in the region and the world such as the East Sea and Korean Peninsula issues, the Vietnamese official stressed that as peace, stability, maritime security and safety in the East Sea were the common concern and interest of all countries, the whole region and all countries needed to spare no effort to reach the goals.
ASEAN should further uphold its existing tools and mechanisms such as the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and realise commitments in the ASEAN-China Action Plan for the 2011-15 period on respecting and implementing the DOC in a full and effective manner.
At the meeting, the officials reviewed final preparations for the AMM 46 and relevant ministerial meetings between ASEAN and partners slated for June 28-July 2, focusing on the agenda and list of events to be adopted at these meetings.
Under the agenda, AMM-46 and relevant meetings will focus discussions on urgent issues for the ASEAN development, including the implementation of plans to accelerate the formation of the ASEAN Community by 2015.
ASEAN senior officials will submit to their ministers a plan to review the 5-year implementation of the ASEAN Charter as a foundation for the reshuffle of the grouping's apparatus with three pillars, namely the Political-Security Community, the Economic Community and the Socio-Cultural Community.
The agenda will highlight the role of the ASEAN Secretariat, expand and deepen relations with partners and increase their involvement in the building of the regional architecture as well as measures to consolidate and maintain the central role of ASEAN in the region.
Government discusses draft laws
The Government debated the revised Law on Customs at its regular meeting on June 28.
Cabinet members agreed that it is necessary to amend the law, which was adopted by the National Assembly in June 2001 and came into effect in 2006, as the country is deeply integrating into the international community.
The revising of the law should aim to comprehensively renovate customs procedures, which must be modern and suitable to international practice, and create a legal framework for modernising customs activities towards an open, transparent and effective customs.
The draft revised law will include eight chapters with 106 articles, including 45 amended articles, 27 unchanged and 34 new. Seven articles in the old law will be cancelled.
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for drafting the revised law.
Also at the meeting, the Government discussed contents of the draft law on entry, exit and residence of foreigners in Vietnam.
Vietnam, Laos foster procuracy cooperation
Prosecutors from Vietnamese and Lao border provinces gathered at the third meeting of the people’s procuracy sector in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on June 28 to boost ties in combating transnational crime, especially drug trafficking.
The event saw the presence of the top prosecutors from the two countries’ supreme people’s procuracies, central military procuracies and border guard force procuracies among others.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Prosecutor General Tran Cong Phan said this year’s meeting aims to evaluate recent cooperation in combating crimes and propose measures to uphold the ties in the coming time, particularly those related to transnational and drug crimes.
The event is among numerous practical and meaningful cooperation activities between the two procuracy institutions, illustrating their determination to maintain and develop the traditional friendship and comprehensive partnership between the two countries.
It also plays an important role in actively maintaining public security in the region and the world, building a borderline of peace, friendship and cooperation, as well as serving the socio-economic development goals of the two countries.
The meeting will conclude on June 29.
Vietnam-Laos border marker planting near completion
Nghe An central province and neighbouring Lao provinces have joined hands to finish the construction and upgrade of 114 out of 116 markers along their shared border.
Vice Chairman of Nghe An provincial People’s Committee Thai Van Hang, who is also the head of the provincial Steering Committee for Border Marker Planting, said the implementation of the work has faced many difficulties, but the province is determined to fulfil its task, which has been receiving much care from the National Border Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Border Guards, relevant ministries and branches.
The committee said Nghe An is coordinating with the Lao side to complete the construction of the last two markers, slated for July.
At the same time, the province will try its best to popularise Party and State policies on upgrading national border markers to border residents.
Local authorities will also look closely at security in the border area, contributing to defending the Vietnam-Laos peaceful and friendly border.
Nghe An shares a 419.5km borderline with three Lao provinces including Xieng Khouang, Bolikhamxay and Houaphan.
Prime Minister congratulates new Australian PM
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on June 27 sent a congratulatory message to the newly-appointed Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd.
Kevin Michael Rudd, 55, was sworn in as Australia’s 28 th Prime Minister.
He previously served as Prime Minister from 2007 to 2010. Rudd is the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since 1949.-