|President Truong Tan Sang (third from left) talks with his Filipino counterpart Benigno Aquino during the President's visit to the country to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Manila. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
MANILA (VNS) — Viet Nam and the Philippines established a strategic partnership during President Truong Tan Sang's visit to the fellow ASEAN country to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.
A joint statement to this effect was issued by the two countries' Foreign Ministers following the talks between President Sang and his Philippines counterpart Benigno Aquino yesterday.
During their talks, the two leaders said the strategic partnership was significant because it ushered in a new era for the bilateral ties, while also helping to maintain peace, prosperity and stability in the region.
Noting with pleasure the continuous developments in bilateral relations covering various areas in recent years, the Presidents discussed major plans to promote the strategic partnership.
They agreed to intensify the exchange of delegations at all levels and organise activities marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2016 in an effort to raise mutual understanding between the two countries' citizens.
At the same time, the two sides will continue operating co-operation mechanisms and increase the sharing of information and experience in all fields.
The Philippines affirmed that Viet Nam was an important rice supplier and spoke highly of the two countries' collaboration in search and rescue operations.
President Sang thanked the Philippines for recently releasing Vietnamese fishermen it had captured and suggested freeing the remainder.
President Sang voiced his belief that the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting hosted by the Philippines would be successful, and pledged support for the country's participation in the TPP, which it is considering to join.
The two sides agreed to foster solidarity and uphold the central role played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in major matters regarding the security and interests of each country, as well as the region at large.
They reiterated the importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, safety, and maritime and aviation freedom in the East Sea, while settling disputes at sea in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Both vehemently condemned the deadly attacks on civilians in Paris last Friday, saying they believe the culprits would be punished strictly.
On this occasion, the two Presidents witnessed the handover of plans to supplement the rice trading agreement between the two countries for 2014-2016.
President at APEC forum
Also yesterday, President Truong Tan Sang called on APEC enterprises to enhance their corporate social responsibility, continue supporting economies and people in boosting sustainable, inclusive development and improving self-reliance capacity.
Speaking to about 1,200 leading businesses at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum CEO Summit in Manila, the President asked the firms to take corporate social responsibility as a guideline for development and see sustainability as a leading factor in creative renovation.
Businesses should expand models of green production, investment, tourism and supply chains, while strengthening technology transfer as well as technology application to assist communities and economies in improving forecasting, response and recovery capacity after shocks and natural disasters, he said.
The President noted that the Asia-Pacific region was facing a turning point with shared interests for a community of peace, stability, development and prosperity. Shaping free trade deals were also creating an impetus for the region in maintaining its role as a driving force for global connectivity and development, he added.
He held that APEC was facing a number of challenges during the implementation of sustainable and inclusive growth targets, including issues related to the building of an environment of peace and stability for development, together with the slowing down of some leading economies, as well as poverty, the development gap, climate change and natural disasters.
Regarding Viet Nam's economic outlook, President Truong Tan Sang noted that the country was accelerating institutional and administrative reforms, bettering legal systems and improving the domestic business environment.
With the conclusion of negotiations for four free trade agreements in 2015, Viet Nam had become an important connection point for many regional and global production and value chains.
Viet Nam, as the host of the APEC Year 2017, would continue walking hand in hand with other APEC members in increasing sustainable development, he pledged.
President meets US groups
President Truong Tan Sang yesterday held a roundtable talk with representatives of the US business groups in the Philippines as part of his trip to the country to attend the 23rd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting.
He said Viet Nam and the US had made strides in their relations in the 20 years since the establishment of their diplomatic ties and two years since the formation of the comprehensive partnership.
Viet Nam was working hard to complete the institutions of the market economy, legal frameworks, policies and administrative reforms, he said.
It was aligning free trade commitments, including those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), to its laws to facilitate US businesses' investment in industry, services, high technology, farm produce processing and biological pharmaceutical products, he said.
The US entrepreneurs expressed their delight at the conclusion of negotiations of the TPP agreement, saying they pinned high hopes on Viet Nam's development. — VNS