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Vietnamese, Myanmar top legislators hold talks to seek stronger ties

Update: May, 16/2017 - 09:00
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân with Speaker of Myanmar’s Parliament and House of Nationalities Mahn Win Khaing Than in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Trọng Đức
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân yesterday held talks with the Speaker of Myanmar’s Parliament and House of Nationalities Mahn Win Khaing Than, who is on a week-long official visit to Việt Nam.

At the talks, which followed a welcome ceremony for Myanmar’s top legislator the same day, NA Chairwoman Ngân affirmed the significance of the traditional friendship between the two countries, which was founded by President Hồ Chí Minh and General Aung San, as well as the need to further promote the 40-year ties.

Expressing delight at the growing ties between the two parliaments, Ngân noted that the two sides are successfully realizing their September 2013 agreement. She highlighted that the Myanmar visit of the Vietnamese NA delegation in 2016 to attend the 37th Assembly of the AIPA and the current visit of the Myanmar NA leader showed the close connection between parliamentarians of both sides.

For his part, Mahn Win Khaing Than showed his pleasure at the sound relationship between the two countries.

Noting that the bilateral legislative ties started far before the two countries set up their diplomatic ties in 1975, he cited Doctor Phạm Ngọc Thạch’s visit to Myanmar in January 1948 to attend the country’s Independence Day and President Hồ Chí Minh’s Myanmar visit in 1958.

Regarding economic relations, NA Chairwoman Ngân expressed her hope that the Myanmar parliament will join in supervising trade-investment ties and providing optimal conditions for business activities to grow strongly.

She added that the two sides should effectively implement the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the joint sub-committee on trade co-operation in February 2017, while continuing negotiating and speeding up the signing of co-operation deals in agro-forestry-fisheries, culture, transportation, finance, justice and education.

The NA leader praised the sound partnership between the two countries at regional and international forums, especially at the ASEAN, UN and Non-Aligned Movement. Việt Nam proposed that the two sides continue forging closer co-ordination within the framework of the ASEAN as well as other regional and international forums, including Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Việt Nam Summit and the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Strategy Summit, East-West Economic Corridor, Greater Mekong Subregion and the UN.

The two sides should also work together in effectively and sustainably using Mekong River water resources, she said, adding that Việt Nam hopes that Myanmar will become a member of the Mekong River Commission.

Mahn Win Khaing Than said Việt Nam and Myanmar have provided consistent support for each other, while regularly exchanging delegations and setting up bilateral co-operation mechanisms, adding that the two sides are preparing for the seventh political consultation between the two Foreign Ministries in 2017.

Along with the stable political ties, the two sides have enjoyed fruitful people-to-people connections, with more than 30,000 Vietnamese visiting Myanmar last year alone, he said.

He cited the success of Vietnamese-invested firms, including the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BIDV), and Viettel, the fourth largest telecom service provider in Myanmar. He called for more Vietnamese investment into Myanmar to build on this success.

The top legislator said that Myanmar’s parliament hopes to forge stronger co-operation and connectivity links with other parliaments, including Việt Nam.

On the issue of the East Sea, he affirmed Myanmar’s stance that all parties should fully respect diplomatic and legal processes, settle disputes through peaceful means based on the core principles of international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

Myanmar supports the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), he said, highlighting the need for co-operation in the early signing of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Myanmar will work closely with regional partners to voice a common position in the field, he stated.

At the talks, the two sides agreed on the continued implementation of the outcomes of Myanmar President Htin Kyaw’s visit to Việt Nam in 2016 and the visit of General Min Aung Hliang, Commander-In-Chief of Myanmar’s Armed Forces in March, 2017.

The two sides should promptly set up a “defence policy dialogue” at the defence deputy ministerial level, and a “joint working group” between the departments for external relations of the two Defence Ministries, they stressed.

They agreed to create legal conditions to support respective companies in investing and doing business. The Vietnamese side suggested the early signing of a co-operation agreement on customs and finance, as well as a supplement to the agreement on investment promotion and protection, and a memorandum of understanding on investment promotion, focussing on fields such as banking, aviation, telecommunications, oil and gas and agriculture.

Both sides agreed on the need to continue maintaining the exchange of senior leaders of the two parliaments and the two friendship parliamentarian groups in order to share experience in legislative and supervision activities, as well as viewpoints on international and regional issues of shared concern.

The two leaders urged the two friendship parliamentarian groups to promote their role in popularising the traditional ties between the two countries. They concurred that the two parliaments will consult and support each other’s viewpoints at global and regional parliamentarian unions in the common interest of the two countries and in order to build ASEAN solidarity.

Both sides should also be co-ordinating in supervising the implementation of agreements and cooperation programmes between the two parliaments. The two parliaments will also work harder to strengthen people-to-people connections and boost traditional bilateral relations, they said. The legislator from Myanmar promised to urge relevant agencies to form a Myanmar-Việt Nam Friendship Association.

Meeting with PM, Party leader

Myanmar wants Vietnamese businesses to invest more in the country, Myanmar Speaker Mahn Win Khaing Than told Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at their meeting yesterday.

Myanmar’s top legislator said his country is improving its investment environment to attract more foreign investors, adding that a number of Vietnamese firms have received investment licences in Myanmar.

PM Phúc noted that Vietnamese businesspeople are keen on investing in Myanmar.

He called for efforts to accelerate negotiations and the signing of co-operation deals in agro-forestry-fishery, culture, transport, finance, justice and education.

The leader also called on the two countries to beef up ties in other sectors like defence, telecommunications, banking, oil and gas and agriculture.

Meeting with Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng later the same day, Speaker Than affirmed Myanmar’s determination to enhance co-operation with Việt Nam in many fields.

He noted that business laws in Myanmar would be revised soon, creating favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses in Myanmar.

Party General Secretary Trọng affirmed Việt Nam’s policy of attaching importance to enhancing and expanding friendship and co-operation with Myanmar.

He lauded the development of the relations between the two countries in recent years and said he believed that this visit to Việt Nam by the Myanmar speaker would mark an important milestone, contributing to promoting friendship and co-operation between the two sides. — VNS

 

 

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