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Government News 26/3

 Vietnamese, Thai legislative bodies bolster relations, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc hails 2017 outstanding youths, Vietnam enhances agricultural cooperation with EU, Belgium, NA Chairwoman meets Indonesian Lower House Speaker in Geneva 

Vietnamese, Thai legislative bodies bolster relations


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An overview of the meeting 



Head of the National Assembly’s Committee for External Relations Nguyen Van Giau met First Vice President of the National Legislative Assembly of Thailand (NLA) Surachai Lienboonlertchai in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 24 (local time) on the sidelines of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138).

They discussed the election progress in Thailand, and measures to strengthen the relationship between the two legislative bodies.

Giau, who is a member of the IPU Executive Committee for 2016-2019, expressed his delight at the development in all fields of the bilateral ties, especially since the establishment of the Strategic Partnership in 2013.

The strategic partnership has not only promoted bilateral relations to serve their people’s interests, but also contributed to peace, stability and development in the region and tightening connectivity between ASEAN members, he said.

He suggested both sides support each other to become investment attractions of the region and facilitate the access of each country’s products to the other’s market.

With both sides’ efforts and determination, the target of 20 billion USD in two-way trade by 2020 is reachable, he added.

The Vietnamese official also affirmed that the country’s National Assembly always wants to welcome representatives from the NLA in Vietnam to discuss operation experience.

He also expressed his hope for closer cooperation between the two legislative bodies.

Last year, the two sides maintained the exchange of high-level delegations, thus helping intensify the Vietnam-Thailand friendship.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc hails 2017 outstanding youths


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At the award ceremony 



Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asserted that the Party and State always pay great attention to nurturing and developing young talents while addressing a ceremony to honour the nation’s 10 outstanding youths of 2017 in Hanoi on March 25.

The event was jointly held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union’s Central Committee and the Fund for Vietnamese Young Talents in celebration of the 87th founding anniversary of the Ho Chi Minh Youth Union (March 26).

The honoured, who stood out among 20 nominees, were active in various fields from studying, scientific research, production, start-up, security and order, and defense to social activities, sports, culture and art.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said the Party and State have promulgated many policies to attract and honour bright people as well as prioritised financial resources to develop young talents.

The award ceremony is hoped to motivate youngsters to make more remarkable contributions to society, promote emulation campaigns among youths, and raise public awareness of educating and nurturing young generations, he said.

The PM hoped the winners will promote their creativity and apply new scientific and technological advances in the fields of their strength to create more social and economic values, especially when the country is working to seize Industry 4.0 opportunities.

He urged the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union and localities to join hands to nurture young talented people.

Through its 21 editions, the annual outstanding youth award ceremony has honoured 210 excellent individuals. Another 210 others have received the potential youth title.

Vietnam enhances agricultural cooperation with EU, Belgium


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Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong 



Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong has paid a four-day trip to the European Union and Belgium to promote agricultural cooperation with the two partners and demonstrate Vietnam’s efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. 

During the March 21-24 visit, through a series of meetings, the Vietnamese minister pushed for the EU’s lifting of a yellow card, which was imposed on Vietnam on October 23, 2017 due to its failure to meet requirements on IUU fishing prevention.

In his meeting with European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella, Cuong reported current implementation of the EU’s recommendations on anti-IUU fishing in Vietnam, highlighting concerted efforts of the entire nation and challenges facing the attempt.

Cuong expressed his hope for improved cooperation between Vietnam and the EU in fighting IUU fishing, and carrying out the Voluntary Partnership Agreement in line with the EU's Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade, as well as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

The minister also had a working session with European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan, during which he stressed the EU’s significant role to Vietnam’s farming sector in terms of partnership, investment and knowledge-technical transfer.

Highlighting the importance of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), he suggested both sides soon ratify the pact to boost trade, particularly of agro-fishery-forestry products.

Cuong asked the EU to take into consideration practical conditions of developing countries like Vietnam during its assessment and inspection of seafood safety control system.

Regarding measures to implement the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement, both host and guest agreed to hold more dialogues to discuss the document content and how to implement the SPS regulations in the EVFTA.

Both commissioners acknowledged and lauded Vietnam’s drastic efforts in increasing laws and policies to counter IUU fishing and monitor food safety. They said the efforts will help stimulate the growth of bilateral comprehensive partnership and facilitate the EVFTA signing and ratification.

The EU side announced that it will send a technical team to Vietnam in May to access the country’s actions against IUU fishing.

In another meeting with Alain Cadec, Chair of the European Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries, the Vietnamese official introduced measures Vietnam has employed to deter IUU fishing and asked for support of the EU and Cadec to make the process more effective.

While in Brussels, the minister also met Belgium's Federal Minister for Agriculture Denis Ducarme to beef up farming cooperation with the European country. 

Both ministers agreed to promote investment collaboration in agriculture, with Cuong suggesting the Belgian side assist Vietnam in meeting standards and regulations of the country and the EU.

Denis Ducarme said Belgium prioritises joint works with Vietnam, expressing his belief that bilateral farming engagements will expand in the future.

NA Chairwoman meets Indonesian Lower House Speaker in Geneva


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At the meeting. 



National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan met with Speaker of Indonesia’s House of Representatives Bambang Soesatyo on the sidelines of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU-138) in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 24 afternoon (local time). 

The Vietnamese top legislator used the occasion to thank the Indonesian parliamentary delegation for attending the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26), which took place in Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi in January 2018. 

She said the Vietnam-Indonesia strategic partnership has served practical interests of their people, while contributing to peace, stability and development in the region, and connecting country members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

NA Chairwoman Ngan applauded affiliation in national defence-security between Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as their efforts to push the signing of an agreement on joint patrol and establishment of a hotline between the two countries’ naval forces and a policy dialogue mechanism at the deputy defence ministerial level. 

In reply, Bambang Soesatyo suggested the Vietnamese and Indonesian legislative bodies intensify the exchange of all-level delegations and supervise the implementation of signed agreements. 

He noted his hope for the enhanced legislative ties, contributing to boosting the Indonesia-Vietnam relationship. 

The Speaker thanked Vietnam for its support to Indonesia to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-2020, and emphasised that Indonesia backs Vietnam’s bid to run for a non-permanent seat in the council for 2020-2021. 

In the sphere of economy, the Speaker said Indonesia calls for Vietnamese investment in oil and gas exploration and exploitation, expressing his wish that Vietnam will be one of the big trade partners of Indonesia. 

His view was echoed by NA Chairwoman Ngan, who said that Vietnam and Indonesia have substantial potential for cooperation in trade and investment, urging the two countries to raise bilateral trade to 10 billion USD in the time ahead.

The Vietnamese top legislator voiced her hope that the Speaker will urge competent Indonesian agencies to seek measures to soon end negotiations on demarcation of exclusive economic zones in the waters where the two sides delimited the continental shelf boundary in 2003 and that the two sides will soon sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in seafood and fisheries, and set up a hotline against illegal fishing. 

Lauding Indonesia’s coordination in repatriating Vietnamese fishermen, NA Chairwoman Ngan proposed the two sides handle the issue in the humanitarian spirit, and in line with the strategic partnership as well as their ASEAN membership. 

She appealed to the two countries to continue to work closely with each other and with other ASEAN members in order to intensify intra-bloc cooperation and solidarity and maintain peace, stability and cooperation in the region, while joining hands with other nations in settling the East Sea issue by peaceful measure and on the basis of regulations of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS), full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) toward the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Regarding bilateral legislative ties, the NA Chairwoman suggested the two sides step up delegation exchange, with attention paid to cooperation between specialised committees through information and experience sharing, as well as coordination at international parliamentary forums, especially the IPU and APPF. 

She invited Speaker Bambang Soesatyo to visit Vietnam at an early date. 

The same day, NA Chairwoman Ngan had a meeting with the Vietnamese mission in Geneva, the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Switzerland.

PM: Hoi An should become leading ancient tourism city


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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked Hoi An to strive to become the leading ancient tourism city in the region and the world while attending a ceremony to mark 10 years of Hoi An’s being the city of central Quang Nam province on March 24.

Recalling studies on the trading activity history of Hoi An – the UNESCO-recognised Cultural Heritage, Phuc stressed the need for more efforts to develop the city’s tourism sustainably in combination with cultural preservation.

With its prestige and advantage as one attractive destination in the Hue-Hoi An-My Son world cultural heritage triangle, convenient transport and capacity of intensive international integration, Hoi An can easily grasp all opportunities to grow stronger, Phuc affirmed.

However, he requested the city to harmoniously solve the relationship between economic development and environmental protection and cultural preservation, ensure social welfare, and consider heritage and ecological natural resources as the driving force for local growth.

He proposed taking advantage of trade villages and relic sites, while asking for better business and service culture in each family, each individual and each enterprise for sustainable development and to protect Hoi An’s brand and prestige.

The Government leader required leaders of Quang Nam province and ministries and sectors to help Hoi An build its urban development planning by 2030 with a vision to 2050, a project on special policies and mechanisms to preserve and promote the value of the world cultural heritage to serve the city’s development in the time ahead.

It is also essential to improve the efficiency of managing, preserving and promoting the value of cultural heritage, mobilise resources to invest in restoring ancient streets, revolutionary historical relic sites, and traditional trade villages, he emphasised.

Each individual in Hoi An and Quang Nam in general has the responsibility for maintaining and promoting the values of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, he said, stressing the need to develop community-based tourism.

Hoi An really becomes an attractive destination only when its owners – Hoi An residents – are civilised people, Phuc stated.

Hoi An welcomed 3.2 million tourist arrivals in 2017, up nearly 200 percent compared with the 10 years ago. The tourism, services and trade sectors accounted for 70 percent of the city’s total production value.

Tourism has stimulated the growth of local business and production activities. Locals’ living conditions have been improved, which is reflected through per capita income rising from 17 million VND (748 USD) in 2008 to over 40 million VND (1,760 USD) last year.

On this occasion, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited and presented gifts to Heroic Mother Vo Thi Tang, and Huynh Hoac, a 55-year Party membership senior official in Cam Thanh commune of Hoi An city.

President stresses youngsters’ role in national growth


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President Tran Dai Quang meets 87 outstanding HCMCYU members at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi



President Tran Dai Quang has stressed the significant role of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCMCYU) and youngsters in national growth amidst challenges and opportunities brought by Industry 4.0 and the country’s speedier reform and international integration.

He made the statement at a meeting with a delegation of 87 outstanding HCMCYU members who won the Ly Tu Trong Award 2018 in Hanoi on March 26 on the occasion of the 87th founding anniversary of the union (March 26).

The State leader highlighted the pioneering role and contributions of members of the union and youngsters to the victory of the country’s revolution.

Noting that 2018 is an important year in implementing the 12th Party National Congress’ resolution, he asked the union to strengthen education on revolutionary ideology among youngsters, while reforming its communications methods to popularize the Marxism-Leninism and Ho Chi Minh Thought, as well as the tradition of the Communist Party of Vietnam.

The union should show better performance in implementing revolutionary movements, projects and works as well as voluntary campaigns, especially in remote, border and island areas, he said.

He asked the officials of the union to take the lead in researching and applying achievements of Industry 4.0, as well as in start-up movement.

The State leader affirmed that the Party and State always pay special attention to the building of the union and the development of young generation, expressing his hope that youngsters across the country will continue promoting the glorious tradition of the country, thus making more attainments and more contributions to the national construction and defence.

Over the past 87 years, the HCMCYU has gathered and educated Vietnamese youth to uphold the spirit of national independence and socialism.

In wartime, the union acted as a powerful force contributing to the victory of the revolution.

In the period of peace, national reform and integration, the union has played the pioneering role in many voluntary movements to speed up poverty reduction and helped youngsters in economic development.

NA Vice Chairman meets Vietnamese community in Madagascar


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National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien and the Vietnamese delegation take a picture with Vietnamese-Malagasy people at the President Ho Chi Minh statue in Antananarivo, Madagascar. 



Vietnam National Assembly Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien and the high-ranking NA delegation paid a floral tribute to late President Ho Chi Minh at his statue in Antananarivo, the capital city of Madagascar and met with the Vietnamese community in the country on March 24.

Hien learnt about the difficulties facing the community in the host country, while briefing them on Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements in recent years, especially the country’s rising position in the world arena.

According to the Vietnamese Embassy in Madagascar, about 400 people of the Vietnamese origin are living in the African country. A group of Vietnamese people’s offspring in Madagascar has also been formed in Antananarivo.

The NA Vice Chairman stressed that Vietnam always considers the Vietnamese community abroad as an inseparable part of the nation. He also highly valued the community’s spirit of turning their interest to the homeland, expressing his hope that they will continue fostering solidarity and abiding by the law of the host country.

According to the Vietnamese Honorary Consul in Madagascar Eric Andry Ramiandrasoa, the 3.4m statue of President Ho Chi Minh was built from 2001 and inaugurated in 2003 at the Ho Chi Minh square in Antananarivo. In the foot of the statue is a stone caved with the late leader’s famous words in French: “Nothing is more previous than independence and freedom”.

Later the same day, Hien and the Vietnamese delegation visited the office of the Vietnamese Honorary Consul in Madagascar, during which he praised the office’s contributions in maintaining and fostering ties between Vietnam and Madagascar. He asked the office to continue improving connections between businesses of both sides.

Earlier on March 23, Hien and the delegation started their visit to the country by meeting President of the Madagascar’s National Assembly Jean Max Rakotomamojy.

This is the first time the Vietnamese NA has sent a high-ranking delegation to the South African country.

Vietnam, Netherlands set example of effective ties



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NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is paying an official visit to the Netherlands from March 26-28 



Chairwoman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan is paying an official visit to the Netherlands from March 26-28 at the invitation of the Speaker of the Dutch House of Representatives Khadija Arib.

As the first visit of a Vietnamese NA leader to the country, the trip aims to consolidate the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with the Netherlands amid the celebration of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations (April 9). It will mark a new milestone in the friendship and cooperation between the two Parliaments.

The two sides will exchange information and experience in each country's parliamentary activities and areas of interest; promote cooperation in multi-lateral parliamentary forums to which the two parliaments are members, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and the Asia- Europe Parliamentary Partnership.

Over the past 45 years, the Vietnam – Netherlands relations have grown fruitfully in all fields and been further deepened. Mutual understanding and trust have been strengthened via high-level visits and cooperation mechanisms.

It can be said that the Vietnam – Netherlands relationship is now an example of the dynamic and effective ties between Vietnam and a European country.

The Netherlands has for years considered Vietnam its priority partner, adopting numerous policies to boost bilateral cooperation.

The countries are strategic partners in climate change adaptation - water management and sustainable agriculture - food security. Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi capital, Binh Duong, Vinh Long, An Giang, Dong Thap provinces have cooperated with Dutch localities, focusing on climate change adaptation and impact mitigation, green urban solutions; solid waste-to-energy measures, general and space planning, and flood risk management related to the Hong (Red) River area.

The two sides have cooperated in overall city planning, urban management, infrastructure development, transport and public transport vehicles, and smart transportation.

Over the past years, the two sides have promoted practical and effective cooperation, with priorities given to key areas such as trade - investment, strategic partnerships, logistic services, seaports, oil and gas, shipbuilding; committed to accelerate the early ratification of the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA). 

The two sides have identified five priority cooperation areas, namely climate change adaptation, water management, agriculture, energy, marine economy and logistics services.

Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of education - training, security - defense, transport, maritime, and customs have fared well.

Shortly after the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1973, the Netherlands began providing non-refundable assistance for Vietnam, mainly in the humanitarian, education - training and health care fields.

Tertiary education also plays an important role in the Vietnam - Netherlands bilateral cooperation. Since mid 1970, the country has provided numerous scholarships for Vietnam. It earmarked more than 10 million EUR to strengthen Vietnam’s post-high school education through its Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE). The program focuses on the sectors of key Dutch expertise such as agriculture, integrated water resources management, climate change, and vocational education. Many Vietnamese universities and research institutes have established close cooperative ties with Dutch partners. 

Overseas Vietnamese students in the Netherlands mainly pursue majors of economics, business administration, engineering and technology.

In the field of transport, the two sides have cooperated in waterways and airlines, and eyed on opening direct flight routes, sharing experience and capacity building for the transport sector, as well as promote their enterprises’ connection. 

Vietnam has been implementing the National Strategy for Marine Economic Development, with maritime, shipbuilding and logistics playing an important role. Meanwhile, the Netherlands has rich experience in these fields, therefore, the two nations share a huge cooperation potential cooperation.

The two countries have reached initial cooperation in customs, building search and rescue ships, and training cooperation agreements with Vietnam Maritime University, Ho Chi Minh City University of Transport, and on seaport research. 

The two-way trade between Vietnam and the Netherlands has been growing steadily, with Vietnam having always enjoyed a trade surplus. Trade and investment cooperation between the two countries have also seen growth. The Netherlands is currently Vietnam’s largest export market in the EU.

By the end of 2017, the trade values between the two nations exceeded 7.77 billion USD. Vietnam mainly exports aquatic products, vegetables and fruits, cashew nuts, coffee, pepper, rice, chemical products, and plastics. The country majorly imports machinery, equipment, spare parts, auto parts, milk and dairy products, and pharmaceuticals from the Netherlands.

The Netherlands ranked 11th out of 126 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, with a total registered capital of 8.17 billion USD, becoming the biggest among EU investors in Vietnam.

Its notable projects are Mong Duong Power Plant, Phu My Power Plant, Pepsico Vietnam Company, and its capital investment per project averages about 27.1 million USD, doubling that of a foreign investment project in the country.

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