FM Pham Binh Minh visits Republic of Korea

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh arrived in Seoul to begin an official visit to the Republic of Korea (RoK) and to attend the “Vietnam Week in RoK” from December 6-9.

Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh cuts red ribbon to open the painting exhibition “Vietnam-Four Seasons”. (Source: VNA)

The visit, the first by a Vietnamese Foreign Minister since 2005, was at the invitation of the RoK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Kim Sung-hwan.

Minh, on December 6, attended the opening ceremony of the painting exhibition “Vietnam-Four Seasons”, which was jointly held by the Vietnamese Embassy in RoK, CheilJedang (CJ) Cooperation and Lotus art gallery in Seoul on the occasion of the 20 th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The ceremony drew the attendance of Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Trong Toan, representatives of RoK Ministry of Sports, Culture and Tourism, CJ Cooperation and numerous guests from the two countries.

Speaking at the event, Toan stressed that it is a special event that begins Vietnam Week in RoK with abundant activities to enhance exchanges, tighten solidarity and friendship between Vietnam-RoK.

He also expressed his hope that the excellent works at the exhibition will help RoK people understand more about Vietnamese people and cultures, enhancing mutual understandings, friendly relations and cooperation between peoples of the two nations.

In the last 20 years, friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and RoK have developed comprehensively to become a strategic partnership based on similarities in history, cultures and their common goals to build a prosperous, peaceful and stable country.

Woo Jin-yong, Assistant Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Director of Korean Culture and Information Service, affirmed the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to promote friendship and mutual understanding between the two countries.

On the same day, Minh received leaders of the Vietnam-RoK Friendship Association and Chairman of the association of people loving Vietnam in RoK, Park Kwang-joo. At the reception, Minh highly appraised the achievements of the two associations in developing friendly cooperative ties between the two nations over the past time.

Minh also expressed his hope that with the efforts by both Governments, the two associations will continue their social role and assist Vietnamese residents in the RoK to enhance exchanges between people of the two countries and reinforce the strategic partnership between Vietnam–RoK.

Vietnam, China border provinces boost cooperation

The fifth meeting of the joint working committee of four Vietnamese provinces Cao Bang, Lang Son, Quang Ninh, and Ha Giang and China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region was held in Cao Bang on December 6.

Addressing the meeting, Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Vu Duc Dam affirmed that the cooperation mechanism between the four Vietnamese provinces and Guangxi province of China has proved its effectiveness, bringing practical benefits for the people of the border localities.

To increase development further, the two sides should maintain regular exchanges between leaders of the four Vietnamese provinces and China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, increase delegation exchanges between border districts and establish relations between branches, agencies and organisations to promote mutual understanding and trust, Dam said.

They should strengthen the popularisation of Vietnam-China friendship to raise peoples’ awareness of the importance of the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, he added.

At the meeting, the two sides agreed that during 2012, Vietnamese and Chinese provinces made full use of their advantages, encouraged business investment and held joint investment and trade promotion activities within the framework of the Vietnam-China “two corridors, one economic belt” framework agreement.

They also reached a common perception on further enhancing their comprehensive cooperation in many fields.

Leaders of the Vietnamese and Chinese provinces signed an MoU on the meeting and witnessed the signing ceremony of a MoU on the building of an information exchange mechanism between the Foreign Affairs Departments of Cao Bang, Lang Son, Quang Ninh and Ha Giang, and the Foreign Affairs Office of China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Lao leader receives high-ranking Vietnamese delegation

General Secretary of the Laos People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and Lao President Chummaly Saynhasone hosted a reception on December 6 for a Vietnamese high-ranking delegation led by Vice National Assembly Chairwoman Tong Thi Phong.

The delegation is in Laos to attend the inaugurating ceremony of a memorial complex to President Ho Chi Minh in Xiangvang village, Nongbouk district of Khammouane province.

At the reception, Phong, who is also a politburo member of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), thanked the LPRP, Lao State and people for their work with the Vietnamese side to build the memorial complex, saying that the building reflects the Vietnam-Laos special solidarity and the respect to President Ho Chi Minh.

Phong affirmed that Vietnam will do its utmost to work with the Lao side to maintain and further deepen the two countries’ solidarity in the interest of each country’s people, and for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world.

Saynhasone praised President Ho Chi Minh’s great dedication to the Lao revolutionary cause and his contribution to founding and nurturing the Vietnam-Laos special relations, as well as Vietnam’s support to Laos in recent time.

He affirmed that Laos will try its best to maintain and develop the traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation that exists between the two countries.

Vietnamese and Lao Fronts share experience

A conference was held in the central province of Ha Tinh on December 6 to share experiences between the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) and the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC).

At the conference, both sides compared notes on front-related issues such as coordination between the VFF with its member organisations and State agencies, the role, tasks and authority of the VFF’s Standing Committees across all their levels, the VFF’s education, communication and training work.

Delegates praised the VFF’s valuable experience as a practical contribution to the LFNC’s process of national construction.

The focus of the conference was on stepping up communications to help the two countries’ peoples better understand their respective parties’ guidelines and policies, and the Vietnam-Laos special relationship.

After the two-day conference, the Lao delegation will embark on a fact-finding tour of Quang Ninh, Danang and Thua Thien Hue.

PM receives country director of World Bank

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday, Dec 6, received the World Bank country director Victoria Kwakwa, who came to discuss the organisation of the upcoming Consultative Group (CG) meeting to be held next Monday.

Dung expressed his thanks for the active engagement of World Bank Viet Nam in preparing the CG meeting and declared that Viet Nam was ready to discuss openly with all its donors and development partners.

Informing the bank's country director on Viet Nam's current development policies, the PM said the Government had consistently pursued the curbing of inflation and had worked to stabilise macro-economics and maintain social welfare.

Dung said efforts to restructure economy lagged behind schedule so next year the Government would push harder to solve bad debts and revamp the banking system and State-owned enterprises.

He said Viet Nam would require the backing of the World Bank in these endeavours.

For her part, Kwakwa confirmed that the World Bank would always support Viet Nam during its development process.

Regarding the CG meeting, she said they would like the Prime Minister to attend and discuss with donors and development partners the key issues of education and training and economy restructuring.

Elevating cooperation in Development Triangle Area

Delegates from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam gathered on December 6 at separate meetings of four subcommittees of Economy, Security-External Relations, Environment-Society and Local Coordination to discuss measures that will foster cooperation between the three sides in a comprehensive and close manner.

The meetings are part of a series of events for the 8 th Meeting of the Joint Coordination Committee for the Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Development Triangle Area, which is taking place in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum, Vietnam.

At the discussions, the three parties assessed the implementation of agreements reached at the 7th meeting that took place in Attapeu province of Laos in 2011, and future orientations for cooperation.

Delegates touched upon issues of mutual concern, including bomb clearance and unexploded ordnance (UXOs) clearance in the border regions, and the upgrade of border gates for better connectivity in the economic corridor.

They suggested the holding of regular and timely information exchanges, solutions to accelerate border demarcation between Vietnam and Cambodia, and the planting and upgrading of border markers between Laos and Vietnam.

At the Economic Subcommittee meeting, officials discussed new proposals for an agreement that will boost trade cooperation among the three countries.

Parties also suggested hosting a CLV conference with sponsors Japan, the Republic of Korea, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in 2013.

VN denounces wrongful resolutions by US cities

Answering a query on Vietnam’s viewpoint towards the US state of California’s Garden Grove City Council’s adoption of a resolution to discourage representatives and officials from Vietnam visiting the city, and the City Council of Santa Ana’s decision to approve a similar resolution, Deputy Spokesperson of Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry Tran Thi Bich Van said on December 6 that “such resolutions are wrong, like a fish out of water, and go against the trend of the two countries’ development relations”.

Condolences sent to the Philippines

President Truong Tan Sang and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on December 6 extended condolences to Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines over the heavy casualties and property loss caused by typhoon Bopha.

On the same day, Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also sent a message of sympathy to his Philippine counterpart Albert F. Del Rosario.