POLITICAL NEWS OCTOBER 1
Cambodian PM to pay official visit to Vietnam
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen
Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen will lead a high-ranking delegation from the Cambodian Government to pay an official visit to Vietnam from October 4-5.
The visit will be made at the invitation of Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, according to the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry’s communiqué./.
Vietnam, UK hold second defence policy dialogue
At the second Defence Policy Dialogue between Vietnam and the UK (Source: mod.gov.vn)
The second defence policy dialogue at the deputy ministerial level between Vietnam and the UK took place in Hanoi on September 30 under the co-chair of Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh and British Minister of State for Defence Baroness Goldie.
The two sides highlighted the purpose and significance of the Vietnam-UK defence policy dialogue and positive development in bilateral defence ties in the recent past, especially after the two countries renewed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral defence cooperation and successfully organised the first dialogue.
They affirmed that the defence cooperation between the two countries has been flourishing in different fields, such as English training, logistics, hydrograph and defense industry.
The two sides underlined the need to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, particularly high-ranking delegations, to promote mutual understanding.
Vinh said Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich will pay an official visit to the UK in the time to come, and Vietnam is ready to facilitate the next visits by British Navy ships to the Southeast Asian country.
He called on the UK side to continue exchanging experience in military medicine, UN peacekeeping and promoting exchanges among young officers of the two armies.
Vinh suggested the UK support and expand English training for Vietnamese military personnel, saying that the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence is willing to receive British army officers to study Vietnamese language in Vietnam.
The two sides should promote cooperation and mutual support at multilateral forums, he added.
The same day, Vietnamese Minister of National Defence General Ngo Xuan Lich hosted a reception for Baroness Goldie, during which the Vietnamese minister spoke highly of the bilateral defence cooperation in the recent past, as well as effective assistance from the British Ministry of Defence in deploying the second level-2 field hospital in South Sudan and in teaching English to Vietnam’s UN peacekeeping forces.
He said that the defence policy dialogue is a foundation and an important cooperation mechanism in defence relations between the two countries./.
Vietnam attends WIPO General Assembly’s 59th session
The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) General Assembly opened its 59th session in Geneva, Switzerland, on September 30, drawing over 1,000 delegates from 191 member countries.
The Vietnamese delegation was led by Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology.
Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, head of Vietnam’s permanent mission in Geneva chaired the event. This is the second year Dung has been honoured to take the presidency of the WIPO General Assembly.
On behalf of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Minister Chu Ngoc Anh spoke at the opening ceremony.
He said the bloc’s economy is projected to expand at 4.9 percent in 2019 despite the sluggish global economic growth and increasing protectionism.
The flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the region rose 5.3 percent to reach 154.7 billion USD in 2018, Anh added.
ASEAN is stepping up the implementation of innovation initiatives to catch up with the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0), Anh said.
To support innovation, ASEAN is implementing an action plan on intellectual property in 2016-2025 and has gained remarkable outcomes, he added.
According to the Minister, ASEAN’s intellectual property system is deeply integrated with the world’s, manifested by the participation in some international treaties administered by WIPO.
At this year’s meeting, Vietnam submitted a document to join the Hague agreement concerning the international registration of industrial designs.
Anh also underlined the role of science, technology and innovation in changing growth model and escaping from the middle-income trap for developing countries, including Vietnam.
Recognising the importance of innovation, the Vietnamese Government has promulgated many policies and measures to increase Vietnam’s global innovation index (GII), he said.
As a result, Vietnam’s GII has increased steadily in recent years, leaping three places to the 42nd position in 2018, he added.
In August 2019, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a decision approving the national intellectual property strategy through 2030. Previously in June, the National Assembly passed the law on insurance business and law on intellectual property, according to the Minister.
On the sidelines of the 59th session of the WIPO General Assembly, Minister Chu Ngoc Anh had a working session with WIPO Director General Francis Gurry.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, the Minister presented Vietnam’s document to join the Hague agreement to the WIPO Director General.
With this participation, Vietnam is now a member of all three treaties on international registration for inventions, trademarks and designs administered by WIPO, he said.
Anh also informed about major policies of the Vietnamese Party and State on science, technology, innovation and intellectual property.
The same day, the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology and the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam signed a cooperation agreement on GII and another on intellectual property environment with WIPO.
The 59th session of the WIPO General Assembly will wrap up on October 9./.
Vietnam, Cambodia look to strengthen defence ties
Vietnamese and Cambodian officers at the reception
The Government, people and army of Vietnam always attach importance to developing solidarity and friendship with their Cambodian counterparts, a senior Vietnamese officer has said.
Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nguyen Phuong Nam, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA), made the affirmation during a reception for Gen. Sem Sovanny, Director General of the National Centre for Peacekeeping Forces of Cambodia, in Hanoi on September 30.
Nam highlighted the fruitful development of the Vietnam–Cambodia friendship and cooperation across fields, saying that the defence-security collaboration is one of the important pillars in the bilateral relations.
Vietnam will make every effort to maintain, reinforce and strengthen the solidarity between the two nations, he said.
Leaders of the VPA’s General Staff always support and create favourable conditions for the UN peacekeeping agencies of Vietnam and Cambodia to expand cooperation in the coming time, thereby serving the cause of security-defence in each country, Nam added.
Sovanny said the motto of “good neighbourliness, traditional friendship, comprehensive cooperation, long-term sustainability” will help the two countries effectively implement their cooperation plans, thus lifting the bilateral relations to a new height.
He stressed that this is the first time the peacekeeping force management agencies of the two countries have exchanged delegation to share experience in the UN peacekeeping operations, expressing his hope that Cambodia can learn from Vietnam’s experience to well deploy its peacekeeping mission in the coming time./.
Vietnam, Czech Republic boost cooperation in crime combat
Minister of Public Security General To Lam (L) and Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Hamacek
The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic have agreed to enhance information and share experience in preventing and combating drug crime, organised crime, terrorism, high-tech crime, and illegal immigration.
They also agreed to increase all-level delegation exchange during talks between Minister of Public Security General To Lam and Czech Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Jan Hamacek in Hanoi on September 30.
Both sides will support each other to investigate, capture, and verify all information related to crimes based on current law in each nation and basic principles of the international regulations. In addition, they will work together in human resources training to improve cybersecurity capacity and improve counter-terrorism ability.
Vietnam and the Czech Republic will coordinate closely to not allow any organisations or individuals to take advantage of one country’s territory to sabotage the other nation.
Furthermore, they agreed to further cooperate to assure safety for trade and investment activities, and protect legitimate rights of the citizens and representative offices of one nation in the other country’s territory.
Minister To Lam stressed his ministry values the visit of the Czech Ministry, expressing his hope that it will be a milestone in the bilateral relations in the fields of security and order, contributing to consolidating and developing traditional friendship between the two countries.
Since 2014, the cooperative ties between the two ministries have been enhanced, which were illustrated through signing the agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons, and the agreement on crime combat between the two countries, he stressed, adding they are working to implement the agreement on getting back citizens and the protocol to carry out the agreement inked in 2007.
Jan Hamacek, for his part, spoke highly of the sound traditional friendship between the two nations, particularly in the fields of security - defence.
He was rejoiced at the cooperative ties between the two ministries, which have developed into a deeper and more practical manner./.
Vietnam, Venezuela tighten traditional friendship, solidarity
President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Nguyen Phuong Nga (L) and First Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) Diosdado Cabello
Vietnam and Venezuela need to strengthen people-to-people exchange and further tighten traditional friendship and solidarity between the two countries in the coming time, said President of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Nguyen Phuong Nga.
During a meeting with visiting First Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) Diosdado Cabello in Hanoi on September 30, Nga appreciated Venezuelan people’s support for Vietnamese people during the struggle for national independence in the past and in national construction and development at present.
She said that the two sides should enhance international solidarity.
For his part, Cabello said he hopes for more opportunities to strengthen cooperation between the two peoples in the future.
He affirmed that he will do his best to further promote cooperation between the two Parties, States and people through the exchange of high-ranking delegations and people-to-people diplomatic activities.
Vietnam and Venezuela established diplomatic relations on December 18, 1989, which was upgraded to a comprehensive partnership in 2007./.
Lao Prime Minister pays official visit to Vietnam
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith and his spouse, alongside a high-ranking delegation from the Lao government, begin an official visit to Vietnam from October 1.
The three-day visit is made at the invitation of Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.
Vietnam and Laos have enjoyed a traditional friendship, special solidarity and thriving partnership in all fields.
Over the past years, political ties between the two countries have been expanded with stronger trust, playing the key role in bilateral relations. The two sides have held regular meetings and delegation exchanges in all channels.
The bilateral partnership in defence, security and external affairs has improved with the close coordination in ensuring political stability, defence and security in each country and building a shared border of peace, stability and development.
Vietnam and Laos have regularly exchanged viewpoints on regional and international issues, while coordinating with and supporting each other at multilateral cooperation forums, especially within the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the United Nations.
Cooperation in economy, culture, education-training and science-technology has also developed.
By December 2018, Vietnam has invested in 409 projects worth 4.1 billion USD in Laos, mostly in hydropower, mining, industrial plant growing and services. Among the completed and operating projects are Xekaman 1 hydropower plant, Muong Thanh Vientiane Hotel, Crown Plaza and Viettel Laos.
The two sides have implemented a new bilateral trade agreement, a border trade deal and a revised protocol on goods transit, among others, while launching the “one door-one stop” at Lao Bao-Densavanh border gate.
Last year, two-way trade between the two countries was valued at about 1 billion USD. Vietnam imported beverages, wood, mineral products and agricultural products from Laos, while exporting oil and gas, fertiliser, steel, machines, electric equipment, construction materials and spare parts to the neighbouring country.
In terms of education and training, the Ministry of Education and Training of Vietnam has handed over Vietnamese language textbooks from 1st to 12th grades to Laos, which is being piloted at Nguyen Du school.
Vietnam has sent Vietnamese teachers to 28 establishments in 11 cities and provinces of Laos, while supporting Laos in designing six education-training works. In 2018, Vietnam granted 1,271 scholarships to Lao officials and students.
Bilateral ties between localities, especially those along the shared border, have also been expanded, especially in infrastructure, healthcare, personnel training, poverty reduction and security./.
Hanoi, Australia’s Victoria state enhance cooperation
Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung (R) and Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau (Photo: hanoimoi.com.vn)
The capital city of Hanoi expects further cooperation with Australia’s Victoria state and hopes the two sides will set up twining relations in the time ahead, said Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung.
Hosting a reception for Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau on September 30, Chung expressed his delight at the growing collaborative ties between the two localities since 2016, particularly in the fields of investment, tourism and education.
He briefed the guest on Hanoi’s socio-economic achievements in the past time, while saying rapid urbanisation has posed tremendous challenges to the local authorities such as environmental pollution, traffic jam and increasing number of immigrants, among others.
Chung took the occasion to thank Australia and Victoria state for their support in organising the Formula One Vietnam Grand Prix in 2020.
The chairman asked Melbourne, capital of Victoria state, to assist Hanoi in training management officials and developing audit business network.
The governor, for her part, laid stress on Melbourne’s strength in holding large-scale sport events and exporting innovative technologies in the field, saying both sides have enjoyed sound cooperation in the sector.
She also affirmed Melbourne can back Hanoi in the fields that Chung has mentioned.
The two officials then witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the municipal People’s Committee and RMIT University./.
HCM City, Germany look to boost multifaceted cooperation
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong and German Consul General to the city Josefine Wallat (Source: https://www.sggp.org.vn)
Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Phong and German Consul General to the city Josefine Wallat discussed ways to foster multifaceted cooperation between the Vietnamese southern metropolis and the European country during their meeting on September 30.
Highlighting the fruitful cooperation between the two countries in various fields, the municipal leader said that HCM City is focusing on infrastructure development, energy, and green growth with a goal of becoming a financial hub in the region.
He hoped that with her bridging role of the Consul General, Wallat will call on and guide German enterprises to land their investments in the city.
Phong pledged to create favourable conditions for German firms and the Consulate General to operate effectively in the locality.
For her part, Wallat said the German side is interested in the fields of energy technology, green growth and education.
As Germany and Vietnam will celebrate the 45th anniversary of their diplomatic ties next year, she expressed her belief that the event will create an impetus to further promote the Germany – Vietnam cooperation in the coming time.
Germany ranks 13th among 106 countries and territories investing in Ho Chi Minh City with 151 projects worth 286 million USD.
Two-way trade between Vietnam and Germany hit 2 billion USD in 2018 and 450 million USD in the first seven months of this year./.
NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien visits Hungary
NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien (left) and Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian NA Jakab Istvan
The Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) always wants to consolidate and promote traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary, NA Vice Chairman Phung Quoc Hien said on September 30.
During his talks with Deputy Speaker of the Hungarian NA Jakab Istvan, Hien said his ongoing visit to Hungary is expected to contribute to enhancing the bilateral relationship.
Vietnam always keeps in mind the valuable and practical support and assistance of the Hungarian State and people for Vietnam’s past struggle for national liberation and reunification as well as its present cause of national construction, the legislator said.
In 2020, Vietnam and Hungary will join hands in celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties with various cultural exchanges, tourism, trade and investment promotion activities in order to bring people of the two countries closer, according to Hien.
The NA Vice Chairman rejoiced at the fruitful development of the bilateral relationship across spheres, as well as their mutual support at multilateral forums.
Hien used the occasion to thank Hungary for its support for Vietnam’s signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), and suggested the country promote the early ratification of these deals, creating new momentum for economic, trade and investment links between Vietnam and the EU and Hungary in particular.
He also thanked Hungary for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to stabilise their lives and integrate into the host society, considering them an important bridge helping to tighten the friendship.
The legislator lauded the dynamic development of bilateral economic, trade and investment cooperation, with two-way trade in 2018 doubling that of the previous year to 645.6 million USD.
The two sides should step up trade and investment promotion, support their businesses and cooperate in such areas as education, health care, pharmaceutical industry, water resources management, environmental protection, agricultural production, processing industry and manufacturing engineering, Hien suggested.
He appreciated Hungary for its provision of official development assistance (ODA) worth 440 million EUR to some projects in Vietnam as well as its 200 scholarships to Vietnamese students each year.
Health care and medical equipment are also areas having potential for cooperation, he said, adding that Vietnam welcomes Hungary to supply and open modern pharmaceutical plants in the country.
Regarding security, safety and freedom of navigation in the East Sea, the NA Vice Chairman informed his host about tensions in the waters over the past time, with violations of Vietnam’s maritime sovereignty.
Vietnam is persistently pursuing a policy of settling peacefully disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), towards building a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), he said.
Vietnam applauded the attention and stance of Hungary and the EU on the East Sea issue and the regional security, and hopes for more support from Hungary for Vietnam’s just viewpoints and stance on this problem, he said.
Hien noted with pleasure the coordination and mutual support between the two NAs at regional and international inter-parliamentary forums and their exchange of delegations, especially high-level ones.
Lauding the effective and result-oriented cooperation between the two legislatures over the past time, the NA Vice Chairman expressed his hope that the legislative ties will further develop in the time ahead through the signing of a cooperation framework.
He called on the two NAs to increase exchanges between parliamentarians’ groups and young parliamentarians, coordinate in implementing collaboration agreements and joint strategic projects, support exchanges between the Governments, localities, enterprises and people of the two countries, and promote mutually beneficial cooperation.
For his part, Istvan said Hungary admires Vietnam for is socio-economic achievements, saying thanks to the reform process, Vietnam has made outstanding performance in growth and job creation.
The country has also rapidly grasp scientific and technological advances, he stressed.
Earlier, Hien paid a courtesy visit to Hungarian NA Speaker Kover Laszlo, during which he conveyed NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to the host leader to visit Vietnam on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties.
He touched upon economic and education cooperation between Vietnam and Hungary, relations between the NAs and people of the two countries, along with issues regarding security, safety and freedom of navigation, and law observance, particularly the 1982 UNCLOS, in the East Sea.
Hungary considers Vietnam an important partner in Southeast Asia and wishes for comprehensive and close cooperation with the country in such areas as economy, national defence and justice, Laszlo said, suggesting Vietnam facilitate the construction of a Hungarian culture and community centre in Hanoi.
Hungary keeps a close watch and supports Vietnam’s viewpoints on the peaceful settlement of disputes in the East Sea, he said.
During his stay in Hungary, Hien had a working session with leaders of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology to discuss the management of high-speed railways in Vietnam.
He also met with Hungary’s Deputy Secretary for Transport Peter Toth, and representatives of the Hungary-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group, and attended a banquet hosted by Jakab Istvan.
The legislator and his entourage visited the Vietnamese community doing business at the Sarga Bufe trade centre and worked with the Vietnamese Embassy in Hungary./.
Ambassador: Vietnam active as WIPO 2018-2019 Chair
Ambassador Duong Chi Dung (R) presides over the59th session of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2018-2019 from September 30 to October 9
Vietnam’s coordinating role and proactiveness as Chair of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) General Assembly in 2018-2019 have been internationally hailed, according to Ambassador Duong Chi Dung.
That Vietnam is taking the presidency of the WIPO in 2018-2019 is one of the effective steps to implement Directive 25 of the Party Secretariat on promoting multilateral external affairs through 2030, Dung said in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the 59th session of the WIPO General Assembly from September 30 to October 9.
He said the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) has exerted profound impact on production methods, business, and consumption as well as global politics and security, adding that knowledge, scientific and technological accomplishments, and innovative ideas have become the main driving force for economic growth of all WIPO member countries.
New production methods require the WIPO to reform itself, Dung said, adding that Industry 4.0 also poses challenges in database management and operation.
Additionally, there is still a big difference in the protection viewpoints and policies of countries due to development gaps between developed, developing and underdeveloped ones.
Industry 4.0 will create development opportunities for all nations, especially developing ones, if they know to apply new science-technology achievements, Dung said.
However, this revolution could also make developing and underdeveloped countries lag behind further if they cannot optimise opportunities, he stressed.
As the competition between nations in the world has become fiercer, they have to revise and adjust their development strategies, the ambassador said, stressing that the Politburo’s resolution on joining Industry 4.0 dated on September 29, 2019, and the earlier introduction of the national strategy on intellectual property through 2030 dated on August 22, 2019 create an important step to promote innovation, creativity, and a strong intellectual property protection system.
WIPO is Vietnam's first and most important partner in international cooperation on intellectual property, the diplomat affirmed. Annually, the organisation conducts many technical cooperation activities for developing countries and Vietnam is one of the biggest recipients of projects focusing on policy building and law making in intellectual property, capacity improvement, modernisation of intellectual property management system, and human resources development.
The building of the national strategy on intellectual property through 2030 with the technical assistance of WIPO has marked a new development in the field, affirming intellectual property is an important tool to promote innovation activities as well as national socio-economic and cultural development, Dung added./.
Gov’t issues plan to better implement Int’l Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
The Government has approved a plan figuring out measures to strengthen effectiveness of implementing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and recommendations by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR).
Under the plan, Viet Nam will continue improving legal framework for deployment of the Covenant, including regulations on prevention of discrimination while maintain effective implementation of regulations on the civil and political rights.
The country will step up dissemination of the content of the ICCPR in a bid to improve awareness of the Covenant among education management staff, teachers and pupils.
It will also prepare periodical reports on the implementation of the ICCPR and recommendations by the UNCHR and continue considering the establishment of the national human rights organ in accordance with its real economic, cultural and social conditions.
NA Chairwoman receives Venezuelan guests
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and First Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela
Politburo member and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan affirmed the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy of supporting constitutional and democratic process in Venezuela, while hosting a reception in Hanoi on September 30 for visiting First Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) Diosdado Cabello.
Ngan welcomed the visit at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 30th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties, believing that it will further deepen friendship and cooperation between the two Parties and countries.
She said she believes that under the leadership of President Nicolas Maduro, the fraternal Venezuelan people will successfully realise late President Hugo Chavez’s last wishes, overcome challenges and carry the country forward.
The host affirmed that Vietnam is willing to share experience in socio-economic development, especially in agricultural production, with Venezuela.
Cabello, for his part, said he is moved at visiting Vietnam on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh’s Testament and the 50th death anniversary of the President.
He expressed wishes to step up traditional friendship with Vietnam to share experience, particularly in Party building, socio-economic development, agricultural production and poverty reduction.
The guest stressed that under the leadership of the PSUV headed by its President and State President Maduro, the armed forces – people solidarity bloc founded by late President Chavez over the past more than two decades will be strengthened, serving as a solid bastion for Venezuela to overcome challenges and gradually spoil the plots of causing unrest to the country.
Earlier, Cabello held talks with Politburo member and permanent member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Tran Quoc Vuong, during which both sides informed each other of situation in each Party and nation, discussed issues of shared concern, towards expanding ties between the two Parties in the near future.
While in Vietnam, the delegation paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum, held working sessions with the Foreign Ministry, the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations, the Vietnam – Venezuela Friendship Association, and the Field Crops Research Institute, and learned about an agricultural development model in Hai Duong province./.
Vietnam-Laos relations of special solidarity enjoy substantive progress
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) welcomes his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Hanoi in September 2018
The official visit to Vietnam by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith from October 1 to 3 is set to give a further boost to the two countries’ traditional friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation.
Vietnam and Laos boast a long-standing special solidarity and faithful relationship nurtured by late Presidents Ho Chi Minh, Kaysone Phomvihane and Souphanouvong, and generations of the two countries’ leaders and peoples.
Over the past years, the two sides have been unceasingly consolidating and developing the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples, considering these as important factors of the success of each country’s national development and defence.
Bilateral political and diplomatic ties have continued to be reinforced, as seen through mutual visits at all levels. By the end of August, the countries had exchanged more than 120 delegations, about 60 of which were at the deputy ministerial or higher levels.
Vietnamese leaders who visited Laos recently include Party General Secretary and State President Nguyen Phu Trong (February 24 – 25), and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (September 26 – 29). Meanwhile, top leaders of Laos have also paid visits to Vietnam such as Party General Secretary and State President Bounnhang Vorachith (August 9 – 12), National Assembly Chairwoman Pany Yathotou (March 4 – 8), and PM Thongloun Sisoulith (May 31 – June 1).
Cooperation in defence, security and diplomacy has continued to record new developments. The two countries have actively implemented the five-year cooperation protocol and annual defence – security cooperation plans, helping to ensure political stability, security and social order and safety in each nation. They have also effectively carried out the agreement on border regulations and the one on settling irregular migration and undocumented marriage in their border areas.
Additionally, both sides have continued working together to search for and repatriate the remains of Vietnam’s volunteer soldiers and experts who laid down their lives in Laos during wartime. In the 2017 – 2018 dry season, 233 sets of remains were repatriated from Laos.
The countries have also coordinated closely and supported each other at regional and international forums. They have further enhanced cooperation with each other and other ASEAN members in building the ASEAN Community and maintaining the bloc’s solidarity and consensus in the strategic issues of the region, including the East Sea issue.
Laos strongly supported Vietnam’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council and holding of the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
Both have coordinated closely with other nations and relevant international organisations to manage and use the Mekong River’s water resources in a sustainable and effective manner.
Increasingly substantive partnerships
Progress has been recorded in bilateral relations in economy, culture, education – training and science – technique.
Trade between Vietnam and Laos topped 1 billion USD in 2018 and reached 748 million USD in the first eight months of 2019, up 14.2 percent year on year. The new trade agreement and the cross-border trade deal are being implemented actively with the aim of sustaining the annual trade growth rate at 10 percent at least.
Vietnam remains the third largest foreign investor in Laos. According to the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment, by June 2019, Vietnamese businesses had invested 4.22 billion USD in 411 projects in Laos, mainly on hydropower, mining, services, agriculture and telecom.
Besides, cooperation in education – training and culture has continued to receive attention. The two sides have effectively implemented the project on improving the quality and effectiveness of bilateral ties in education and human resources development for 2011 – 2020.
In 2018, Vietnam provided 1,271 scholarships for Laos, up 271 from the two governments’ decision, and Laos gave 60 scholarships for Vietnam. There are 14,656 Lao students in Vietnam, which also has 260 students in Laos at present.
Vietnam has opened 24 short-term refresher courses for 497 Lao cadres in different fields and sent teachers of Vietnamese language to 28 educational establishments across Laos.
Cultural exchange and tourism promotion activities have also been stepped up at all levels, helping to deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Additionally, links between Vietnamese and Lao localities, especially the border ones, have been further strengthened, including in infrastructure building, health care, human resources development, and border security ensuring.
The two sides have created more favourable conditions for the Vietnamese and Lao communities in the other country. Associations of Vietnamese people have been set up in 12 of the 18 provinces and cities of Laos so far./.
Prime Minister works with Lang Son province's leaders
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the working session with Lang Son province's leaders on September 30.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc worked with key officials of Lang Son on September 30, emphasising the completion of the Bac Giang-Lang Son highway, particularly segment connecting to the Huu Nghi (Friendship) International Border Gate in this northern mountainous province, which will help facilitate trade with China.
The Prime Minister affirmed that the Government will provide financial support for the remaining work of the highway, while asking the locality to use the fund in an effective fashion. He recommended the State Bank of Vietnam to encourage commercial banks to join the project.
The Bac Giang – Lang Son stretches 64 kilometres from the intersection with National Highway 1 in Mai Sao commune, Chi Lang district of Lang Son province to the National Highway 1 section crossing Hanoi – Bac Giang area.
Investment is underway for the remaining 43 kilometres connecting to the Huu Nghi International Border Gate, which costs some 8.13 trillion VND (350.2 million USD). Of the total amount, the Government has pledged to fund 3.16 trillion VND.
At the event, PM Phuc also requested the province to channel more efforts in expanding market to China, especially Guangxi and Yunnan so that more Vietnamese products will be exported to the neighbouring country.
Besides, local authorities should direct competent forces to safeguard the border and ensure favourable conditions for import-export activities in the province, he said, adding, due attention should be paid to preventing cross-border crimes./.
Vietnam, Bulgaria seek stronger partnership
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh (L) and his Bulgarian counterpart Tomislav Donchev
Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh held talks with his Bulgarian counterpart Tomislav Donchev on September 30 as part of his ongoing visit to Bulgaria.
The two sides briefed each other on the situation in each country and discussed regional and international issues of shared concern.
They noted that the Vietnam-Bulgaria economic-trade cooperation has seen progress over the years, but has yet to match their potential. Two-way trade has reached only about 100 million USD per year.
In order to improve the partnership, they agreed to hold the 24th meeting of the Vietnam-Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Committee on economic cooperation soon, while strengthening trade and investment promotion activities, encouraging and creating optimal conditions for businesses of both sides to seek partners, especially in areas of Bulgaria’s strength and Vietnam’s demand such as agriculture, pharmaceutical chemistry and IT.
Binh thanked the people and Government of Bulgaria for supporting Vietnam during the past struggle for independence and current national construction and development, affirming that Vietnam always attaches great importance to developing friendship and all-round cooperation with traditional friends in central and eastern Europe, including Bulgaria.
He highly valued the growth in traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries, especially in politics with the regular exchange of delegations, including many high-level ones.
On the occasion, the Vietnamese Deputy PM conveyed invitations from Vietnamese leaders to Bulgarian leaders to visit Vietnam on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2020.
For his part, Bulgarian Deputy PM Donchev showed his admiration for the achievements that Vietnam has gained over the years, especially high economic growth and stable social welfare as well as rising international and regional position.
He affirmed his country’s support to strengthening the relations between Vietnam and the European Union, including the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement.
He lauded the efforts and contributions of the Vietnamese community in Bulgaria to the host country’s growth and the development of ties between the two countries.
He described the number of nearly 4,000 Vietnamese people who used to work and study in Bulgaria as an important basis for the development of bilateral friendship and all-round cooperation.
The two sides concurred to further strengthen cooperation in culture, tourism, science-technology, labour, security and defence, while speeding up the signing of agreement on education collaboration in the 2019-2022 period.
At the talks, Binh thanked Bulgaria for supporting Vietnam to run for the position of non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure.
They pledged to continue cooperating with and supporting each other at multilateral forums and international organisations.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two Deputy PMs underlined the significance of maintaining peace, stability, maritime and aviation in the region, the need to solve disputes by peaceful means and respect for international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).
Earlier the same day, Deputy PM Binh met President of Bulgaria's Supreme Court of Lozan Panov, during which he affirmed that Vietnam wishes to learn Bulgaria’s experience in personnel training and court reform, thus enhancing the efficiency of court activities in Vietnam.
Both sides agreed that authorised agencies of the two sides should work more closely in judicial and administrative reform as well as law building.
Binh conveyed the Chief Judge of the Vietnam’s invitation to President of the Supreme People’s Court Panov to visit Vietnam.
Panov held that Vietnam and Bulgaria have great potential for cooperation, especially in court activities, organised and hi-tech crime prevention and combat./.