POLITICAL NEWS SEPTEMBER 29
Lao PM to pay official visit to VN
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith will lead a high-ranking delegation for a visit to Việt Nam next week.
Along with his wife, the PM will arrive after an invitation from Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
Việt Nam and Laos have enjoyed a traditional friendship, special solidarity and thriving partnership in all fields.
In the past, political ties between the two countries have been expanded with stronger trust playing a 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 and building a shared border of peace, stability and development.
Along with the effective cooperation in implementing a project to upgrade the border marker system, Việt Nam and Laos have worked together to fight trans-border crimes, deal with undocumented marriages and free migration in the border areas and search and repatriate the remains of Vietnamese soldiers who died in Laos, with 233 sets of remains repatriated in the 2017-18 dry season.
Việt Nam 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.
Meanwhile, co-operation in economy, culture, education-training and science-technology has also developed.
By December 2018, Việt Nam has invested in 409 projects worth US$4.1 billion in Laos, mostly in hydropower, mining, industrial plant growing and services. Among the completed and operating projects are Xekaman 1 hydropower plant, Mường Thanh Vientiane Hotel, Crown Plaza and Viettel's joint venture in Laos.
Two new projects worth $12.81 million were approved in 2017, and eight others with total capital of $95 million were licensed in 2018.
The two sides have implemented a new bilateral trade agreement, a border trade deal and a revised protocol on goods transit while launching the “one door-one stop” at Lao Bảo-Densavanh border gate.
Last year, two-way trade between the two countries was valued at about $1 billion. Việt Nam 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.
Vietnam supports EU’s efforts to promote Europe-Asia connectivity
Nguyen Van Binh, Politburo member and head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, addresses the Europa Connectivity Forum in Brussels, Belgium, on September 27
Vietnam supports the European Union (EU)’s efforts to strengthen Europe-Asia connectivity, Nguyen Van Binh, Politburo member and head of the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission, said at the Europa Connectivity Forum in Brussels, Belgium, on September 27.
Binh said that the Europe-Asian connectivity will bring about another choice for Asian countries, adding that it must be sustainable and comprehensive on the foundation of international law.
At the forum, Bin, who is also Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, introduced Vietnam’s achievements after more than 30 years of reform, especially in international economic integration.
As a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2020-2021 term and Chair of ASEAN in 2020, Vietnam is willing to serve as a bridge connecting the European Union (EU) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, thus optimising potential of both sides and for peace, stability and prosperity of the two continents and the world, he said.
The Vietnamese Party officialstressedthat in order to successfully connect Europe and Asia, it is significant to ensure the unity in diversity of culture, history and institution.
In the context that unilateral activities are eroding trust, escalating tensions,and violating sovereignty and sovereignty rights of other countries, the two continents should increase dialogue, mutual trust and solidarity in the principles of settling disputes through peaceful measures without using or threatening to use force, and strictly abiding by international law, Binh said.
The Europa Connectivity Forum – an innovative multi-stakeholder international conference aimed at fostering dialogue and strengthening ties between governments, financial institutions, and private sector actors in Europe and beyond, drew more than 1,400 delegates, including the Prime Ministers of Japan, Finland and Croatia.
Opening the event, EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said that Europe-Asia connectivity is a necessary factor when countries in the world are becoming dependent on each other, along with common challenges and the development of science and technology.
He held that the connectivity should be sustainable in environment, finance and society basing on respect for a multilateral international order in line with international law, and must be strengthened in various fields, including the speeding up of new generation trade agreement that the EU has signed with Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.
On the sidelines of the forum, Binh had a meeting with President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehico Nakao, during which he lauded the bank’s and the President’s contributions to Vietnam’s economic development and reform process, while proposing that the bank continue to providing soft loans for Vietnamese firms.
Nakao praised economic achievement of Vietnam over the years, especially its efforts in balancing economic growth and social issues, as well as the effectiveness of partnership between the ADB and Vietnam. He pledged that the ADB will continue to provide loans with proper interest rates for Vietnam in the coming time.
On the occasion, Binh also met German Minister of Economy and Energy Peter Altmaier. The two officials reaffirmed the commitments to promoting partnership between the two nations as well as between the EU and Vietnam, including the acceleration of the ratification and implementation the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement./.
Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh attends G77 ministerial meeting
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) at the ministerial meeting of the group of 77 developing nations (G77)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh led a Vietnamese delegation to attend the ministerial meeting of the group of 77 developing nations (G77) on the sidelines of the ongoing 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the US, on September 27.
Speaking at the event, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasised the leading role played by the G77 in promoting sustainable development and multilateralism and enhancing the role of the United Nations.
Ministers adopted a joint statement affirming the importance of South-South cooperation and solidarity among developing countries, pledging to contribute to UN activities for the sake of social equality, international justice and sustainable development in the world.
At the event, Azerbaijan was admitted as the 135th member of the Group.
The same day, Minh had separate meetings with foreign ministers of Tunisia, Hungary, Chile, and Burundi; and the Secretary-General of the Arab Union, the minister of the state counsellor office of Myanmar, and the minister of state at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Leaders of the nations and partners highly evaluated Vietnam's great development achievements, considering Vietnam's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2020-2021, as well as Vietnam’s ASEAN chairmanship next year is a manifestation of the international community’s trust in the country.
They expected that Vietnam would well uphold its role in both positions to make greater contributions to maintaining peace and security in the world and regions, and promoting trade liberalisation and global governance.
Minh affirmed Vietnam's determination to perform its multilateral responsibility well at the UN Security Council and called on countries to actively cooperate with Vietnam at multilateral forums, especially the UN and ASEAN.
He also proposed measures to strengthen bilateral political relations, increase the exchange of delegations, and expand economic-trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges in the coming time.
At meetings with representatives of US enterprises, Minh updated them on Vietnam’s socio-economic development, investment and business environment as well as its economic development and foreign investment attraction policies.
The Deputy PM noted with pleasure Vietnam and the US have become each other's leading trade partners, in which Vietnam has become one of the fastest growing import markets for US goods and services in the region.
The two sides have continued to remove obstacles in cooperation, and discuss ways to build a new, stable, long-term framework for economic and trade relations to match with the level of bilateral cooperation, he said.
US businesses hailed efforts of the Vietnamese Government in restructuring and improving the investment environment; as well as joint endeavours of the two governments in creating a stable economic and trade framework, thus facilitating their businesses’ operations.
They have also announced their long-term plans to continue expanding investment and production activities in Vietnam with many new projects, including those in key strategic fields such as liquefied gas production, digital economy, telecommunications and network infrastructure.
At the meeting with representatives of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), Minh suggested the committee continue to promote its role as a bridge to contribute to Vietnam-US relations, especially in the context that the two countries will celebrate the 25th anniversary of normalising relationship and promote issues of concern such as overcoming war consequences.
AJC leaders affirmed that they will contribute to further deepening the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Partnership.
As scheduled, Minh will make a keynote speech at the high-level discussion session of the UN General Assembly on September 28 and attend the Informal ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and other related activities./.
Vietnam contributes to UN Human Right Council’s 42nd session
Ambassador Duong Chi Dung (C), Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Delegation to the UN, at the session
Vietnam has contributed to building contents of draft resolutions of the 42nd session of the UN Human Right Council in Geneva, Switzerland, which closed on September 27.
The Vietnamese delegation, led by Ambassador Duong Chi Dung, Head of Vietnam’s Permanent Delegation to the UN, participated in co-sponsoring many initiatives and building contents of resolutions, including the resolution on development rights; the resolution on the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration on women’ rights; the resolution on technical assistance in the field of human rights and the resolution on social security.
Vietnam’s practical contributions helped to protect the country’s interests and consistent viewpoints in the spirit of dialogue and cooperation.
During the three-week regular session, the UN Human Right Council adopted 37 resolutions and a Presidential Statement. Of the 37 resolutions, 25 were passed by consensus, while the remainders are passed by voting.
Participants discussed many issues of human rights such as the right to access fresh water and sanitation, the impacts of unilateral sanctions on human rights, and modern forms of slavery.
The council approved the routine periodic review reports of the 14 countries under the 3rd Review Period, including Norway, Albania, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Portugal, Bhutan, Dominica, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Brunei, Costa Rica, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Qatar and Nicaragua./.
Communist Parties of Vietnam, Greece seek stronger ties
Assoc. Prof, Dr. Doan Minh Huan (left), alternate member of the CPV Central Committee and the Communist Review’s Editor-in-Chief, and General Secretary of the Greek Communist Party Dimitris Koutsoumpas.
A delegation of “Tap chi Cong San” (Communist Review), the theoretical and political agency of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), is on a visit to Greece from September 26-29.
The delegation, led by Assoc. Prof, Dr. Doan Minh Huan, alternate member of the CPV Central Committee and the review’s Editor-in-Chief, paid a courtesy call to General Secretary of the Greek Communist Party Dimitris Koutsoumpas.
At the meeting, Koutsoumpas said he expected the visit will contribute to further strengthening relations between the two countries and the two parties.
He also hoped the Communist Parties of Vietnam and Greece will continue making effective contributions to the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties (IMCWP), which was first held in Greece in 1999. The event’s 21st edition will be held in Turkey this year, he added.
In the wake of escalating regional conflicts and uncertainty, particularly disputes relating to maritime natural resources, the Greek Communist Party wants to enhance friendship among nations, Koutsoumpa said.
Huan, for his part, said the two parties have maintained a good relationship which has been constantly strengthened.
He also highly spoke of the Greek Communist Party’s activities, saying it has taken various actions to protect workers’ rights and foster forums of international communist parties’ and workers as well as left-wing forces.
He described the Greek Communist Party as a bright spot in the communist movement of international workers and expressed the wish to further bolster cooperation and information sharing between the two parties.
During the visit, the Vietnamese delegation visited the Embassy of Vietnam in Greece and held meetings with Solidnet magazine and Kathimerini newspaper to exchange experience in journalism./.
Economy continues to maintain growth momentum: NA official
Nguyến Đức Kiên, vice chairman of the National Assembly’s Economics Committee delivers a speech at the forum.
Việt Nam’s socio-economic situation has shown positive signs with the economy maintaining growth momentum in the first months of 2019, according to Nguyễn Đức Kiên, vice chairman of the National Assembly (NA)’s Economics Committee.
Global trade and investment growth is likely to fall short of the pace projected by international economic and financial institutions this year, harming the country’s economy, Kiên told a two-day forum titled “Socio-economic Situation of Việt Nam in 2019” which ended on Friday.
The government’s efforts to reform, remove barriers for the domestic economy and utilise opportunities from international economic integration would determine the country’s economic situation in 2019, he added.
The forum was hosted by the Germany-based Hanns Seidel Foundation in cooperation with the NA to assess major socio-economic issues in Việt Nam. It also aims to make recommendations to boost the country’s development.
Participants discussed four main topics, namely Việt Nam’s economic situation in 2019 and impacts of free trade agreements, major issues of Việt Nam’s economy in 2019, major socio-cultural issues of Việt Nam in 2019, and recommendations for Việt Nam’s socio-economic development in 2020.
According to reports at the event, the global economy is in a period of “high uncertainty” as about 70 per cent of economies, mostly developing, are projected to experience economic slowdown in the wake of escalating trade tension between major nations.
However, a positive outlook has remained for Việt Nam’s economy as the macroeconomy has been stable, inflation is under control and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the first half of the year expanded 2.64 per cent, the lowest over the past three years. The six-month Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 6.76 per cent, lower than a year ago but higher than the same period in 2011-17.
The participants also highlighted major social issues, notably violence against children, child sexual abuse and school incidents that have sparked public outrage.
Child sexual abuse and violence occurred in most cities and provinces nationwide, said Hoàng Thị Tây Ninh, Child Rights Governance (CRG) Programme Manager at Save The Children. Close to 3,000 cases were reported from 2017-18, involving 3,400 offenders and 3,200 victims, she noted, adding that child sexual abuse accounted for more than 50 per cent of the cases.
She said it was critical to develop and reinforce the local child protection system and facilitate community-based child protection mechanisms. She also urged improving the capacity of social workers and volunteers and enhancing inter-sectoral coordination in this matter while authorities must strengthen education and communications to raise public awareness of child rights and child rights-related law and policies.