Viet Nam News
OTTAWA – National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairman Đỗ Bá Tỵ has met with senior officials from Canada’s parliament and government, voicing his hope for enhanced and substantive cooperation between the Vietnamese and Canadian parliaments.
The meetings on December 5-6 were part of a working visit to Canada by a NA delegation from Việt Nam from December 4-7.
During talks with Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons Bruce Stanton and Chairwoman of the Canadian Senate’s Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Raynell Andreychuk, Tỵ noted the two countries’ relations have been growing, especially in economics, trade, investment, science-technology, and education.
Bilateral trade has almost doubled from US$2.2 billion in 2013 to $4.1 billion in 2015. Việt Nam is now a leading Southeast Asian trade partner of Canada. Meanwhile, more than 5,000 Vietnamese university students are studying in Canada, doubling the figure of 10 years ago.
The NA Vice Chairman asked the two parliaments to continue regular high-ranking visits and work closely and support each other at international organisations and multilateral forums such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum.
Touching upon territorial disputes in the East Sea (South China Sea), he reiterated Việt Nam’s consistent stance of resolving all disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).
Việt Nam supports the international community’s efforts to maintain peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea. It highly values Canada’s stance and positive statements on the East Sea issue, particularly Foreign Minister Stephan Dion’s comment that The Hague tribunal’s ruling last July is binding and must be complied by relevant parties, Tỵ added.
For their part, the Canadian officials spoke highly of Việt Nam’s socio-economic development and increasing stature in ASEAN and Asia-Pacific, adding that their country will closely follow the East Sea issue and support the settlement of disputes in line with international law.
Canada is ready to co-operate with Việt Nam to cope with challenges in the Mekong region and devise solutions to bring bilateral trade on par with its potential, they noted.
Expressing his wish for the countries’ stronger connections, Deputy Speaker Stanton said he believes Việt Nam will be a successful host of APEC activities in 2017, adding that the foundation of friendship parliamentary groups will create an effective channel for the parliaments to solidify collaboration.
Talking to Pamela Goldsmith-Jones – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Trần Văn Túy, head of the Vietnamese NA’s board for deputy affairs, spoke highly of Canada’s role in the global fight against climate change. He asked the country to share experience and assist Việt Nam in climate change prevention.
For her part, Pamela Goldsmith-Jones said the Canadian Government treasures ties with Việt Nam and considers the Southeast Asian nation a priority in its foreign policy. It also wants to work with Việt Nam to address issues of shared concern like climate change response.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the NA Committee for Defence and Security Affairs Võ Trọng Việt had talks with Chairman of Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence Stephen Fuhr.
They said the security situation in Asia-Pacific and Southeast Asia is basically peaceful and stable with developing multilateral co-operation mechanisms which are greatly contributing to common peace and security.
They shared the view that East Sea disputes must be handled peacefully, on the basis of international law, especially 1982 UNCLOS, joint statements between China and ASEAN like the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and other high-level statements on the East Sea issued by ASEAN. Efforts must also be made to soon finalise a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.
At the meetings, the two sides agreed to increase delegation exchanges at all levels between the two parliaments to share experience in lawmaking, supervision and law enforcement. The legislative bodies will also coordinate to monitor the implementation of agreements between the two countries’ governments and ministries so that these deals will bring about practical benefits. – VNS