Vietnam, Japan to hold training course for sappers


At the working session between the Japanese delegation and representatives of the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations. (Photo: qdnd.vn)

A visiting Japanese delegation visited Vietnam’s Sapper Brigade 249 on September 11 to review preparations for the two countries’ upcoming training course in operating heavy military machinery for sappers.

The course, slated for later this year and the second of its kind, is part of a triangular partnership project among Vietnam, Japan and the UN to boost the peacekeeping capacity of Vietnam’s military engineering units for its future peacekeeping mission.

At the visit, the delegation toured the brigade’s drill ground, training locations, infrastructure, and equipment. The drill ground that spans nearly 15 hectares is ready to serve the operation of heavy-duty equipment during the course.

Head of the delegation Lieutenant Colonel Akenko Shingo from the staff office of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force said he is pleased with the preparation made by Vietnam.

The same day, the Japanese guests had a working session at the Vietnam Department of Peacekeeping Operations.

Director of the department Major General Hoang Kim Phung thanked Japan for supporting Vietnam within the framework of the triangular partnership project.

He affirmed that the two countries’ cooperation related to the UN peacekeeping mission plays an increasing important role and has become a pillar in their defence ties. Such collaboration has been included in the agenda of the sides’ deputy ministerial-level defence dialogue.

Vietnam hopes to learn from Japan’s and international lecturers’ peacekeeping experience in meeting UN’s standards and procedures, particularly when the country plans to send a large number of sappers, at around 290, to carry out the mission.

For his part, Akenko Shingo stated Japan is ready to assist Vietnam in deploying it engineer unit for UN peacekeeping mission via experience sharing and training support.

Vietnam, Laos to step up cooperation in border safeguarding


Border guard officials of Vietnam and Laos pose for a photo at the talks in Vientiane on September 12

Vietnam and Laos agreed to enhance cooperation in maintaining border security during talks between their border guard officials in Vientiane on September 12.

The Vietnamese delegation was led by Commander of the Border Guard High Command Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien. Meanwhile, the Lao side was led by Maj. Gen. Siphan Phutthavong, head of the border guard department of the General Staff of the Lao People’s Army.

At the talks, the two sides reviewed cooperation outcomes in the recent past and discussed the coordination in border management in the time ahead.

They agreed to continue directing their agencies and units to seriously and effectively realise cooperation agreements on border defence. They will step up communications to raise border residents’ awareness of the Vietnam-Laos protocol on borderline and border markers, the bilateral agreement on border and border gates management regulations, along with the special relationship between the two countries so that locals are better aware of hostile forces’ sabotage ruses and plots as well as cross-border crime, and actively take part in the fight against crime.

Additionally, border guard forces of Vietnam and Laos will frequently conduct joint patrols to manage and protect the borderline and border markers, discover and deal with incidents happening along the borderline in a timely manner. They will also work together to prevent and combat illegal cross-border migration and other criminal activities.

Both sides agreed to continue coordinating closely to organise border friendship exchanges at all levels, increase the sharing of experience in managing and safeguarding the border and fighting crime, especially drug crime.

They will also further support each other in training and improving the law enforcement capacity of the border guard forces.

During their working visit to Laos from September 11-13, the Vietnamese delegation presented 90 million Kip (about 10,000 USD) as relief aid to the Lao Ministry of National Defence to help people in the country’s central and southern regions address flood consequences.

Vietnam and Laos share a border of around 2,337 km that runs across 10 Vietnamese provinces and 10 Lao provinces.

Deputy defence minister welcomes new US defence attaché


Deputy Defence Minister Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh (R) and US Defence Attaché to Vietnam Col. Thomas Stevenson at the meeting in Hanoi on September 12

Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh received the new US Defence Attaché to Vietnam, Col. Thomas Stevenson, in Hanoi on September 12.

Congratulating the guest on his appointment as the US Defence Attaché to Vietnam, Vinh hoped that during his term, Stevenson will make important and practical contributions to defence cooperation between the two countries.

He affirmed that leaders of the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence and relevant agencies will create the best possible conditions for the attaché to fulfill his duties.

For his part, Stevenson affirmed that he will make his utmost efforts to help develop bilateral defence ties with practical cooperation activities matching the US-Vietnam relations.

Permanent Cabinet members mull major transport projects


Permanent members of the Government looked into major transport projects during their meeting in Hanoi on September 12, which was chaired by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister stressed the need to ensure the smooth operation and safety of the transport system, and urged the sector to pay more attention to handling relevant procedures and bottlenecks.

It is a must to well implement projects and programmes, especially expressway and airport ones, he said.

PM Phuc asked the Ministry of Transport to identify responsibility of agencies in these transport projects and programmes, and encourage the involvement of the private sector in some spheres.

Regarding Tan Son Nhat International Airport, he said the ministry needs to publicise relevant infrastructure projects in order to mobilise resources more effectively.

He requested the ministry to address issues hindering the implementation of the urban railway project in Hanoi, and soon put the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway into operation.

The PM stressed the implementation of non-stop fee collection at build-operation-transfer (BOT) tollgates with the deadline of December 31, 2019.

Vietnam, Cuba to boost balanced trade development


Vietnamese Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha (R) and Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz, the co-chairmen of the two countries' Intergovernmental Committee, exchange the signed minutes of the committee's 37th session on September 12

Vietnam and Cuba agreed to boost the balanced development of bilateral trade and promote Vietnamese investment in the Caribbean nation during the 37th session of their Intergovernmental Committee that concluded on September 12.

At the closing ceremony, Vietnamese Minister of Construction Pham Hong Ha said during the four-day session, the two sides reviewed the implementation of the 36th session’s minutes.

They shared the view that most of cooperation agreements have been carried out, helping fuel bilateral trade in 2018 by 25 percent year on year and turning Vietnam into the second biggest Asian trade partner of Cuba. Some investment projects of Vietnamese businesses in Cuba have been implemented actively. Additionally, connections in agriculture, health care, science-technique, culture-education, and information-communications have been improved.

However, Ha noted, both sides also pointed out that there remain many difficulties in trade and investment partnerships, including those relevant to payment, collateral, labourers’ salary, and material supply. They agreed to make efforts to resolve those problems as soon as possible.

During the meeting, officials agreed that for the time ahead, bilateral cooperation will focus on raising trade revenue, including boosting Cuba’s export to Vietnam, so as to achieve balanced trade while facilitating the implementation of Vietnamese firms’ investment projects in Cuba.

The countries will also effectively carry out the signed cooperation projects on agriculture and encourage the two business circles to partner in seed plant production and aquaculture. Collaboration in information-communications, health care, and other fields will also continue to be expanded.

Minister Ha said the co-chairpersons of the Intergovernmental Committee were unanimous in the need to further improve the committee’s operations in a practical and substantive manner. They also agreed on some new points in the cooperation agreements in various areas.

During their stay, the Cuban delegation met with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and had working sessions with key officials of the Vietnamese ministries of health, industry and trade, and planning and investment, and Quang Tri province, and executives of some businesses.

At those events, the two sides showed the determination to further enhance multi-faceted cooperation between the countries’ ministries, sectors and enterprises, thus bringing bilateral economic ties on par with the political and diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Cuba.

Highlighting the 37th session’s success, Cuban Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz said both sides agreed to make utmost efforts to carry out the new trade cooperation deal soon, especially the bilateral economic agenda for 2020-2025, and together seek solutions to issues emerging during the implementation of Vietnamese-invested projects in Cuba.

The countries will continue promoting ties in agriculture, food industry, and science-technique. They will also keep fostering the export of Cuban goods and services, especially medical services, to Vietnam, he noted.

The minister affirmed the commitment to strongly and effectively realising the agreements reached at the 37th session so as to reinforce economic-trade links between the two nations.

Vietnam welcomes overseas Vietnamese intellectuals in Hungary


Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung (L) at the ITU Telecom World 2019

Vietnam is willing to welcome home overseas Vietnamese intellectuals and enterprises from Hungary, said Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung.

In a meeting with overseas Vietnamese enterprises and intellectuals in Hungary on September 10 in Budapest on the occasion of his attendance at the ITU Telecom World 2019, Hung highlighted the key role played by information and communication technology (ICT) in Vietnam’s development.

He briefed the participants on Vietnam’s achievements in ICT in recent years, saying Vietnam looks to become a powerful country in the sector.

To achieve that, the country would need contributions from everyone, including five million Vietnamese expats, he said.

Hung also answered questions from entrepreneurs in Hungary related to ICT, especially human resources training and development for the sector in the future.

Chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Peopple in Hungary Vu Quy Duong mentioned the human resources potential in ICT of the Vietnamese community in Hungary, saying many Vietnamese professors and doctors are teaching at Hungary’s technology universities.

Overseas Vietnamese firms helps domestic peers integrate globally

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem

Vietnamese businesses in foreign countries serve as an important bridge to connect domestic enterprises with foreign partners and integrate into global markets, heard a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City on September 12.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said the southern economic hub of HCM City is leading localities nationwide in gross regional domestic product (GRDP), contributing about 24 percent of national gross domestic product (GDP), 28 percent of the State budget, 16 percent of the country’s total industrial output, and 15 percent of national import-export turnover.

The city has attracted more than 8,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) projects worth more than 45 billion USD.

The private sector has become an increasingly important driving force for the city, contributing more than 55 percent of the city’s GDP and accounting for 72 percent of its total investment.

These achievements are significantly contributed by the overseas Vietnamese business community, Liem stressed.

He said such new generation free trade agreements as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) are key to help Vietnamese businesses make inroads into major markets.

With an insight into foreign markets and experience, overseas Vietnamese businesses can help domestic firms make good use of export opportunities, he added.

Local authorities hope overseas Vietnamese firms will continue supporting domestic businesses to seek investment opportunities in European markets and beyond.

Nguyen Phuoc Trung, Director of the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the EVFTA creates both opportunities and challenges for the city’s agricultural sector.

He said local agricultural firms want to cooperate with overseas Vietnamese businesses in promoting key agricultural products in the EU as well as update information and requirements relating to quality, technical barriers and safety standards.

Vietnamese businesses abroad also help transfer new technologies in production, processing and preserving farm produce in addition to attracting foreign investment and sales of agricultural products, he added.

While discussing ties between Vietnamese businesses at home and abroad, Chairman of the Vietnamese Business Association in France Nguyen Hai Nam said businesses should mobilise all resources and increase cooperation to develop products and build brands and distribution systems abroad to penetrate the EU and beyond.

Vietnam’s National Day celebrated abroad


Vietnamese Ambassador to Egypt Tran Thanh Cong

The embassies of Vietnam in Egypt, the US and the UK recently held ceremonies to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day (September 2, 1945).

At a celebration in Cairo on September 12, Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Thanh Cong highlighted historical milestones and achievements in the fight for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national reunification as well national reform and international integration.

He said Vietnam has overcome challenges to maintain economic growth, improve living standards and ensure national defence-security.

While evaluating economic cooperation prospects between the two countries, the ambassador said Vietnamese businesses could work with Egypt in agriculture and oil and gas.

The two sides are scheduled to hold an intergovernmental committee in the near future to remove difficulties in economic cooperation and help their businesses understand each other better.

Egyptian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hany Selim said Egypt and Vietnam are close friends. The two countries enjoy sound political ties and close coordination at international forums, he added.

Egypt wants to attract more investment from Vietnam, he said, adding that Egypt could become a gateway for Vietnamese enterprises to enter other African markets, especially after the launch of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Earlier on September 11, the Embassy of Vietnam in the US held a reception in celebration of the National Day.

The event saw senior officials from the US government and Congress as well as ambassadors from Russia, Cuba and countries from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), international friends and overseas Vietnamese.

Vietnamese Ambassador Ha Kim Ngoc highlighted the significance of the National Day. As a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2020-2021 and ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam will continue making contributions to regional and global peace, security and cooperation.

The Vietnam-US partnership has seen dynamic development in all nine cooperation pillars on the basis of mutual understanding and respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and political institutions.

Vietnam has work to balance trade between the two countries and open doors wider for US goods, he said.

Both Vietnam and the US share strategic benefits in settling regional and international issues, especially reinforcing peace, security, cooperation and rules-based order in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, ensuring navigation and aviation safety and freedom, and legal economic activities in the East Sea, Ngoc said.

The two countries have coordinated to boost cooperation in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in fields of mutual concern such as infrastructure, energy and water resources security, he said, adding that Vietnam is making contributions to negotiations between the US and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The ambassador thanked the US, ASEAN member countries and the international community for supporting Vietnam in developing the nation and safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He also appreciated efforts of the overseas Vietnamese community in the US to promote bilateral relations.

David Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said Vietnam and the US have cooperated to address challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, including security challenges in the GMS, contributing to maintaining a peaceful and prosperous region.

Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Asia at the National Security Council (NSC) Matt Pottinger conveyed the congratulations of US President Donald Trump on Vietnam’s National Day.

The US thanked Vietnam for hosting the second US-DPRK summit in Hanoi, he said, adding that the US is supporting Vietnam in defending national independence and sovereignty in the East Sea.

US Congressman Ted Yoho said bilateral relations are developing in all fields, especially trade, defence, settlement of post-war consequences and regional issues.

The same day, the Embassy of Vietnam in the UK held a celebration of the 74th anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day in London.

Vietnamese Ambassador Tran Ngoc An highlighted the development path and foreign policies of Vietnam in economy, environment, traditional and non-traditional security.

Minister of State at the Department for International Trade Conor Burns said the UK pays great attention to developing relations with Vietnam and wants to sign a bilateral free trade agreement after leaving the EU.

Slovak real estate firm seeks investment opportunity in HCM City


At the reception (Source: https://www.hcmcpv.org.vn/)

Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Nguyen Thien Nhan on September 12 received Stefan Czucz, General Director of CZ Slovakia – the investor of the Vietnam -Slovakia Friendship Building in HCM City.

During the meeting, the city leader was pleased to know that CZ Slovakia wants to explore opportunities for cooperation and investment in HCM City.

With its experience in real estate, CZ Slovakia will have many opportunities to invest in housing in the city, when HCM City’s population grows by an average of 1 million people every five years, Nhan said.

He said municipal authorities will create good conditions for investors to operate in the locality, noting all projects in the city are always publicly announced.

Nhan expressed his hope that with the foundation of good friendship between Vietnam and Slovakia, Slovak companies will continue to expand cooperation in many fields with Vietnam and HCM City in particular.

The construction of the 21-storey Slovakia – Vietnam Friendship Building is scheduled to be completed by next April.

Vietnam’s National Day marked in China


The Vietnamese Embassy in China held a ceremony to mark the 74th anniversary of Vietnam’s National Day in Beijing on September 11 with the participation of Chinese officials and representatives of foreign diplomatic corps and the Vietnamese expatriate community.

In his speech, Vietnamese Ambassador to China Dang Minh Khoi recalled the historic moment of the nation 74 years ago when President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence, founding the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam).

Since then, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, tireless efforts of Vietnamese people and valuable support from international friends, Vietnam has gained many important achievements in the struggle for national liberation and reunification and in the cause of national development, he said.

He took the occasion to express his delight at the growth of Vietnam-China collaboration across economy-trade, investment, culture, tourism, and people-to-people exchange.

According to the diplomat, Vietnam has been the third biggest trade partner of China in ASEAN for three consecutive years. The two countries have maintained meetings and visits between their high-level leaders.

The two sides have agreed to maintain peace, stability, and manage and handle satisfactorily disagreement at sea. They are working to organise activities for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in 2020.

At the ceremony, international visitors were treated to Vietnamese culture and traditional cuisine.

Defence Ministry actively engages in fighting IUU fishing


The Defence Ministry has employed drastic measures to prevent and curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities.

The Defence Ministry has employed drastic measures to prevent and curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities in line with its assigned functions and tasks, heard at a meeting in Hanoi on September 12.

At the meeting between the ministry and the national steering committee for IUU fishing prevention, the ministry reported that the border guard, coast guard and naval forces had approached 1,310 vessels at sea to educate them on IUU and distributed leaflets on the matter to 22,000 fishing vessels.

The navy has launched a support programme targeting fishermen in 28 coastal provinces and cities, while the coast guard force implemented a model of accompanying fishermen, persuading ship owners and captains not to violating foreign waters or fishing illegally.

The Defence Ministry’s forces coordinated with local authorities to verify information on 187 cases involving 336 Vietnamese ships and 2,430 fishermen seized by foreign authorities, and shared information on foreign fishing ships encroaching in Vietnamese waters with relevant agencies of the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and other ministries, agencies.

The border guard force has worked closely with fishery inspection agencies of coastal localities to strictly monitor and control the entry and exit of fishing vessels at fishing ports and operation at sea. The navy and coastal guard force have set up hotlines with their counterparts in China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia for the exchange of maritime information, helping with the quick settlement cases related to fishing ships and fishermen.

The steering committee for IUU fishing prevention asked ministries, agencies and coastal localities to continue boosting communication campaigns targeting ship owners and captains, push ahead with the installation of monitoring devices, and strictly punish ships engaging in IUU fishing.

On October 23, 2017, the EC issued a "yellow card" warning to Vietnam, after the country failed to demonstrate sufficient progress in the fight against IUU fishing.

Countries that fail to meet EC standards are given a "yellow card", followed by a "green card" if the problems are resolved, or a "red card" if they are not. A red card can lead to a trade ban on fishery products.

According to EC requirements, the Vietnamese seafood sector had to implement nine recommendations, including revisions of the legal framework to ensure compliance with international and regional rules, applicable to the conservation and management of fisheries resources; ensuring the enforcement of the country’s revised laws; and strengthening implementation of international rules and management measures.

The EC also wanted Vietnam to issue sanctions against IUU fishing, which should be written in the revised Law on Fisheries, and give concrete evidence proving Vietnam’s efforts in the fight against IUU fishing.

ASEAN Day promotes ties with Germany


Ambassadors of ASEAN member states in Germany and their spouses pose for a photo at the ASEAN Day, which opened in Berlin on September 12.

The Berlin ASEAN Committee (BAC) hosted the ASEAN Day in the capital city of Germany on September 12 to promote distinctive cultures of ASEAN member states among local people.

The annual event was expected to enhance understanding and further strengthen ties between ten ASEAN nations and Germany.

Present at the event were Renate Künast, Member of the German Bundestag and Chair of the German-ASEAN Parliamentary Friendship Group; Petra Sigmund, Deputy Director General for East Asia, South East Asia and the Pacific at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany; and diplomats of ASEAN nations.

In her opening remarks, Cambodian Ambassador Touch Sophanrath, who is also the current BAC Chair, recalled achievements made by ASEAN over the past five decades, making it an united, strong grouping with comprehensive cooperation in all areas and contributing to the regional peace, stability and development.

ASEAN’s role and position have been heightened in the region and the world, she said.

The ambassador underlined that relations between ASEAN and Germnay, and the EU at large have grown strongly over years, saying she expects ASEAN, EU and Germany will make greater efforts to unlock their potential for cooperation, particularly in backing ASEAN to realise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Germany was the first among developed countries to become partner of ASEAN, Sigmund said, adding ASEAN and Germany have collaborated in environmental protection and renewable energy among others.

She hoped the ties will be further expanded with stronger commitments from both sides.

For her part, Kunast spoke highly of the ASEAN-EU relations, noting the ties are important so that Germnay and ASEAN will focus on enhancing them.

Son La delegation visits UK’s Newhaven city


The Son La delegation visits the memorial site dedicated to late President Ho Chi Minh in Newhaven

A high-level delegation from the northwestern province of Son La, led by Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hoang Quoc Khanh, recently had meetings with authorities of Newhaven town in the UK’s East Sussex county.

The delegation worked with Mayor of Newhaven Graham Amy, as well as representatives of the Newhaven Chamber of Commerce and the local management board of industrial projects.

The two sides exchanged experience in administrative management and investment attraction.

Khanh took the occasion to introduce Son La’s potential, expressing his hope that the Vietnamese province and Newhaven would seek opportunities for future cooperation.

The Newhaven representatives said the town is willing to support Son La firms in business integration in line with EU standards.

Congratulating the Vietnamese province on successfully exporting its mangoes to the UK market, they expressed their goodwill to help Son La boost export of its farm produce to the market and introduce British investors to explore investment opportunities in Son La.

While in Newhaven, the delegation also visited the memorial site dedicated to late President Ho Chi Minh, who once worked on ferries traveling between Newhaven port and France’s Dieppe port during his time in the UK.

HCM City welcomes Malaysian firms’ long-term investment: official


Vice Chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem (fourth, right), Malaysian Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok Suh Sim (sixth, left) and other officials at the meeting on September 12

Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem hosted a reception on September 12 for Malaysian Minister of Primary Industries Teresa Kok Suh Sim, who is leading a delegation of Malaysian businesses on a working visit to the southern hub of Vietnam.

Liem voiced his delight at the flourishing relations between Vietnam and Malaysia, especially in economy.

On the basis of sound economic ties between the two countries, HCM City wants to further enhance cooperation with Malaysia, including its localities and businesses, in trade, investment and the fields of mutual concern, thereby bringing about practical benefits to both sides and contributing to the common prosperity in the region, he noted.

Liem said leaders of the city will pay a working trip to Malaysia in the near future so as to share experience in socio-economic development and climate change response.

The Vice Chairman added HCM City highly values Malaysia’s strength in processing products of industrial trees, and it welcomes Malaysian enterprises’ long-term investment in the processing of agricultural and industrial tree products.

For her part, Minister Teresa Kok Suh Sim said in the official visit to Vietnam in late August, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was impressed by Vietnam’s development potential, and he has encouraged the country’s ministries and sectors to strengthen trade and investment ties with Vietnam.

She said Vietnam is currently the 13th largest trade partner of Malaysia, and her country hopes that bilateral trade will keep increasing in the coming time.

Highlighting Malaysia’s potential in primary industries like palm oil, coconut, pepper and rubber processing, she said as more than 50 percent of the country’s palm oil export volume is destined for Vietnam, Malaysia wants to further boost cooperation projects with Vietnam, including HCM City, in the processing and the export-import of international-standard palm oil products.

At present, Malaysia is the eighth biggest trade partner of Vietnam with bilateral trade topping 11 billion USD in 2018. It has invested in 568 projects in Vietnam, which in turn has invested in 19 projects in Malaysia.

Malaysia ranks fourth among the 106 countries and territories investing in HCM City with 246 projects worth over 4.6 billion USD.

CPV holds policy dialogue with Germany’s left-wing party


Hoang Binh Quan (third, left), head of the CPV Central Committee’s External Relations Commission, and the Vietnamese delegation at the second policy dialogue with the left-wing party Die Linke of Germany

A delegation of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) has had the second policy dialogue with the left-wing party Die Linke of Germany in Berlin during an ongoing visit to the European nation.

The dialogue was co-chaired by Hoang Binh Quan, head of the CPV Central Committee’s External Relations Commission, and Die Linke leader Bernd Riexinger. It also saw the presence of some policymaking agencies and research institutes of Vietnam and Germany.

The two sides discussed the political situation and trends in Europe and Germany following the European Parliament election, along with the impacts of relations among big countries like the US, China and Russia on the geostrategy in Asia and Europe.

They pointed out the challenges facing left-wing forces posed by the emergence of far-right forces, the extreme nationalism, the profound division in racial and migration issues, and the growing social inequality.

The participants shared their viewpoints on major international issues that are affecting the building of foreign policies of Germany, the European Union and Vietnam. They also looked into some big issues during Vietnam’s building of a socialist-oriented market economy, as well as opportunities and challenges the country is facing during its economic integration into the world.

During the visit from September 9-13, the CPV delegation also had meetings with Vice President of the German federal parliament Petra Pau; leaders of the Party of the European Left, and the German federal ministries of foreign affairs and economic affairs and energy; Governor of Thuringia state Bodo Ramelow; and businesses having partnerships with Vietnam.

At the events, the German side affirmed that they continue supporting the healthy development of the two countries’ relations. They shared the view that both sides will keep reinforcing cooperation in the areas matching Germany’s strength and Vietnam’s demand like smart infrastructure development, renewable energy, vocational training, and manufacturing-processing technology.

The two sides also agreed to continue supporting each other at multilateral forums and the United Nations and promote ties in the fields under the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership.

On this occasion, Quan informed the German side about the situation in the East Sea and the region and Vietnam’s viewpoints on the settlement of sea-related disputes. He also highly valued Germany’s role in and attitude towards security in the region.

He reiterated that Vietnam sees Germany as a leading EU partner, noting that bilateral cooperation is growing well and has much room to further develop in the time ahead when both are preparing to mark 45 years of their diplomatic relationship and to take over important positions in ASEAN, the EU and the UN.

He asked the countries to continue organising high-level delegation exchanges, sharing viewpoints on international and regional issues in a timely manner, and exchanging policymaking experience.

The official expressed his hope that party-to-party relations will keep making practical contributions to cooperation between Vietnam and Germany.

PM: people – centre of sustainable development


People should be placed in the centre of sustainable development, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at a national conference in Hanoi on September 12.

He said sustainable development is both an urgent need and an inevitable trend of social development.

During 30 years of reform, Vietnam has synchronously implemented various solutions to promote sustainable development, the leader said, highlighting the country’s major achievements such as macro-economic stability, high economic growth and improved growth quality, along with attainments in Human Development Index (HDI), poverty reduction and education.

However, the PM said, these achievements have yet to match the country’s potential and advantages.

The leader pointed out other problems like the inefficient exploitation and use of natural resources, environmental pollution and ecological imbalance in many areas.

Given this, he stressed the need to focus policies and resources on sustainable development, and asked ministries, agencies and localities to integrate the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into the 2021-2030 socio-economic development strategy, with specific plans and tasks.

PM Phuc called for efforts to speed up the restructuring and improvement of economic institutions, towards the more efficient use of natural resources, energy saving, advanced economic competitiveness, climate change adaptation and poverty reduction.

National strategies on green growth, climate change adaptation, sustainable poverty reduction, circulated and sharing economy should be implemented synchronously, he said.

Besides, more investments are needed to raise the quality of human resources, especially for poor people and remote areas, he said.

Other tasks set by the PM in the conference include improving the performance of all economic sectors, especially the State one, speeding up e-Government building towards the digital Government, society and economy, perfecting the legal framework and business environment, and putting forth incentives to encourage innovations.

He asked the Ministry of Planning and Investment to coordinate with relevant ministries, agencies and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry to issue a resolution on sustainable development based on outcomes of the conference.

Condolences on passing of former Indonesian President

Top leaders of Vietnam on September 12 offered condolences to Indonesian leaders on the passing of former Indonesian President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee and President Nguyen Phu Trong, and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent messages of condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh extended condolences to Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi.

On the day, representatives of Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid their tribute to the deceased at the Embassy of Indonesia in Hanoi.

Former Indonesian President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie passed away on September 11 at the age of 83.

Vietnamese Party delegation studies US’s policies


The Vietnamese delegation joins a working session with experts of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)

A working delegation from the editorial group of the sub-committee on socio-economic affairs of the 13th Party Congress has had working sessions with several organisations and research institutions in Washington DC to study US policies, and gather experts’ recommendations to make preparations for Vietnam’s socio-economic development strategy in the time ahead.

The delegation, led by Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, met with key officials and experts of the World Bank (WB), Brooking Institution, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Asia Group, during which they discussed various topics such as global context, trends, goals and vision; solutions to development of Vietnam’s economy, science and technology and innovation; East Sea geopolitics, China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the US’s Indo-Pacific Strategy.

According to experts, the global economy’ trends during 2021-2030 will bring both opportunities and challenges to Vietnam. The country will receive short and medium-term benefits thanks to its golden population structure, well-developed private sector and stable interest rate.

They suggested the private sector should be a driving force for Vietnam’s economy in the period, and it is necessary for the Southeast Asian country to improve financial capacity in long term, step up institutional reform, better labour productivity, and focus on debt settlement. They particularly noted the nation should take full advantage of the service sector’s growth, and expand trade of services.

At the working sessions, both sides also discussed a wide range of issues to help Vietnam boost its socio-economic development in the coming time.

The editorial group is responsible for collecting opinions and completing the draft socio-economic development strategy during 2021-2020. It is studying and giving out orientation for the country’s development in the context of changing technologies and deep global integration.

Vietnam, Australia step up defence cooperation


Senior Lieutenant General Le Chiem (fifth from right) meets with General Angus Campbell (fourth from left) (Photo: qdnd.vn)

Vietnam expects further support from Australia in the search for Vietnamese soldiers who died or went missing during the war, Deputy Minister of Defence, Senior Lieutenant General Le Chiem said on September 11.

In a meeting with General Angus Campbell in Canberra, Chief of the Australian Defence Force, Chiem, who is deputy head of the National Steering Board for the Search, Repartriation and Identification of War Martyrs’ Remains, thanked the Australian Department of Defence for providing Vietnam with a digital database of Missing in Action data. He also described this is as a vivid illustration for the Australian Government’s goodwill.

The Vietnamese Government is working out a wide range of measures to accelerate the search and repatriation of Vietnamese soldiers’ remains, he said, asking the Australian side to direct competent agencies to check documents and objects relating to the fallen soldiers.

The national steering board will be responsible for receiving information and documents from Australia, the official added.

Campbell, for his part, welcomed recommendations from Chiem, and expected to further cooperation with Vietnam to recover post-war consequences in the nation.

Earlier, Chiem and a working delegation from the national steering board paid a courtesy visit to the Australian Minister for Veterans.

Vietnam faces two-pronged challenge to human capital development: WB

Vietnam has delivered a strong performance on the human capital index but is facing challenges in ensuring high-quality human resources, said a World Bank official at the National Conference on Sustainable Development 2019.

The conference took place in Hanoi on September 12, under the theme “For a decade of more sustainable development,” gathering more than 700 delegates from State agencies and private businesses.

Daniel Dulitzky, WB regional director for East Asia and Pacific Human Development, noted that the global lender had launched the Human Capital Index (HCI) a year ago. The index contains three subcomponents: percentage of children surviving to age 5; expected years of learning adjusted for quality of learning; and a measure of health, in this case combining stunting and adult survival.

Vietnam’s overall HCI score is 0.67, which means that a child born in Vietnam today will be 67% as productive, upon growing up and starting work, as a child who enjoys a full education and perfect health.

Dulitzky highlighted human capital disparities among ethnic minorities, primarily because the gaps are so stark, with strong equity implications that will have to be addressed in the next decade.

At the same time, he noted that Vietnam needs to enhance both the quantity and quality of its skilled workforce graduating from universities and vocational education and training institutions for a smooth transition to a career.

“Our projections show that if Vietnam follows the current trend, the overall share of the labor force aged 15 and above with a tertiary education degree will only marginally increase by 2050,” he remarked.

The tertiary level gross enrolment rate is below 30%, public funding for higher education as a share of the gross domestic product is less than 0.5% and tuition fees as a share of the unit cost at public universities is more than 50%. This places Vietnam among the countries with the lowest tertiary education enrollment, allocating the least amount of public funding while relying heavily on out-of-pocket contributions.

Dulitzky also cited the 2018 Global Competitiveness Index, indicating that Vietnam is ranked toward the bottom of the list of 140 countries based on industry-relevant skills among university graduates. This low-quality workforce is reflected in Vietnam’s performance, lagging behind other countries in the value added per employee.

To promote inclusive growth, Vietnam faces a two-pronged challenge in human capital development, according to the official.

The first is to close the gaps in human capital disparities for ethnic minorities, and the second challenge is to strengthen the overall development of the workforce and prepare Vietnam for a knowledge-based economy.

He suggested the Government reform the national targeted programs, which should focus on improving human capital outcomes for ethnic minorities, including nutrition, access to high-quality secondary and tertiary education and support for their transition to good jobs.

Supporting ethnic minorities’ transition away from farm work toward household enterprises and salaried employment is key to the country’s long-term prosperity. Access to tertiary education and training needs to be more equitable, including the use of means testing as a form of subsidy targeting, he remarked.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam stressed that Vietnam has spared no effort to fulfill its Millennium Development Goals and has earned many achievements.

Dam said the country is committed to fulfilling the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Government has already issued a national action plan on sustainable growth, with 115 criteria, and combined it with all guidelines, policies and action plans, according to the senior Cabinet leader.

He stressed that it is impossible to achieve sustainable growth targets without effective, strong action at all levels for all sectors, business communities and people, or without the cooperation of the international community.

He called for joint efforts to fulfill sustainable growth targets based on the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Vu Tien Loc, president of the Vietnam Chamber of Industry and Trade, who also serves as chairman of the Vietnam Business Council for Sustainable Growth, delivered a report on improving the competitiveness of the private economy and strengthening public-private partnerships (PPP) for a more sustainable decade.

Loc noted that it is necessary to promote the expansion of the PPP to attract more resources from the private sector for socioeconomic development and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

He stressed the need to issue a PPP investment law to reform the PPP model. State management agencies should change their management methods and enhance their capacity to create more favorable conditions for investment activities in the PPP format to attract new investors.

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