|Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính met with AstraZeneca CEO/Executive Director Pascal Soriot in Hà Nội on Tuesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Giang|
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính expressed his hope to advance relations between Việt Nam and AstraZeneca PLC, towards strategic cooperation in vaccine and drug production.
He was speaking during a reception for the company’s CEO/Executive Director Pascal Soriot in Hà Nội on Tuesday.
Welcoming Soriot’s return to Việt Nam after 25 years, PM Chính attributed Việt Nam’s achievements in the COVID-19 fight and economic development to practical contributions by many countries and organisations, including AstraZeneca who quickly supplied its vaccine to Việt Nam with incentives.
The Vietnamese government and people will forever remember the valuable support from AstraZeneca, he stressed.
The PM told Soriot that thanks to the “5K message” – khẩu trang (facemask), khử khuẩn (disinfection), khoảng cách (distance), không tụ tập (no gathering), and khai báo y tế (health declaration), vaccines, medicines, technologies and public awareness, Việt Nam has brought the pandemic under control and reopened its border from March 15.
He also shared Việt Nam’s experience in social distancing, testing and treatment during the pandemic fight, and noted that the 31st Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 31) – the biggest regional sports event that was held safely and successfully in Việt Nam’s earlier this month with the participation of thousands of athletes and mass audiences reflects region’s ‘successes’ in pandemic containment.
In reply, Soriot said his visit is intended to deepen the relations between the group and Việt Nam, expressing his admiration and impression on the country’s efforts to fulfil its dual goals of pandemic containment and economic development, which, he emphasised, demonstrate the leadership and management capacity of the Vietnamese government.
As one of the three leading groups globally in the research and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, AstraZeneca wishes to expand its presence in Việt Nam, closely cooperate with the Vietnamese government to improve the country’s medical capacity and develop its pharmaceutical industry, and stands ready to transfer vaccine production technology to Việt Nam, he said.
Praising AstraZeneca’s decision to invest US$90 million in pharmaceutical production in Việt Nam, Chính said the group’s development strategy completely matches Việt Nam’s vision and mindset on protecting public health and sustainable development.
He called on the group to share its experience in management and personnel training, and support Việt Nam to fulfil its goals of gas emissions reduction as announced at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in the UK last year.
Soriot pledged that AstraZeneca will make more investment to help Việt Nam in medical capacity improvement and personnel training.
The Executive Director said he was impressed by Việt Nam’s commitments at the COP26, adding that AstraZeneca has been pouring $400 million into afforestation projects, aiming to grow 1 billion trees globally by 2026.
Soriot noted his hopes that such a project will be rolled out in Việt Nam, helping the country fulfil its goals of greenhouse gas emissions reduction and green growth.
This is the third time the PM has had a working session with a leader of AstraZeneca, following the online talks on August 19, 2021 and an in-person meeting on November 2 the same year as part of his trip to the UK for the COP26.
Through the meetings, cooperation between the two sides has been deepened, contributing to implementing Vietnamese Party’s and State’s consistent policy of putting people’s health and safety first and foremost. — VNS