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PM addresses ASEM summit

Update: October, 18/2014 - 09:06
Participants at the summit called for dialogue and co-operation to secure peace and stability in Europe and Asia.— VNA/ VNS Photo Duc Tam
MILAN  (VNS) — Viet Nam contributed three initiatives to the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit, which ended yesterday.

The initiatives concerned the sustainable management of water resources, poverty elimination and comprehensive and sustainable development.

Participants at the summit called for dialogue and co-operation to secure peace and stability in Europe and Asia.

Speaking at the summit, Prime Minister Dung said the need for co-operation to maintain peace, security and stability had become more and more urgent.

When asked about the recent tensions in the East Sea, PM Dung said all disputes should be settled peacefully and in line with international law, the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Viet Nam would firmly safeguard its legitimate interests while building strategic and lasting relations of trust with countries in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law, he told Germany's Deutsche Welle broadcaster and France's Le Monde newspaper.

He made it clear that Viet Nam welcomed all views from major international players on the Asia-Pacific region that respected international law and regional institutions, and do not involve power games, do not infringe upon national independence and sovereignty, and promote equal and mutually beneficial co-operation for peace, security and development in the region.

Elaborating on Viet Nam's ties with its neighbour China, the PM said Viet Nam wanted to create a peaceful environment and a deeper and functional comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

Referring to Germany and the European Union's role in settling disputes in the East Sea, the Vietnamese leader highlighted that peace, stability and security of navigation and air travel in the East Sea was a common interest for all countries within and outside the region.

Almost half of the world's maritime trade passes through the East Sea, making it a crucial link in global navigation. The risk of instability not only harmed the countries in the region, but also the rest of the world, he noted.

He also took the occasion to urge Germany, the EU and the world to work together for peace, stability, maritime security and freedom in the East Sea.

Foreign support

Meeting with Swiss President Didier Burkhalter, the PM assured him that Viet Nam would continue offering support to foreign investors and inviting Swiss investment in finance, technology and the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors.

Both sides reached consensus on a number of issues, including fostering economic and trade co-operation; accelerating the signing of a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member; and working together closely at multilateral forums, including the United Nations and ASEM.

Burkhalter said he looked forward to visiting Viet Nam soon to open a Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

In a meeting with Luxembourg's Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the Vietnamese leader expressed his appreciation for the bilateral economic ties between Viet Nam and Luxembourg.

Bettel made it clear that Luxembourg valued its co-operation with Viet Nam and pledged the country's support to speed up the ratification of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement and the conclusion of the free trade agreement with the EU.

Both countries committed to enhancing collaboration on services, transport, financing, tourism and green growth.

During their dialogue, the Vietnamese PM and his Polish counterpart Ewa Kopacz pledged to nurture comprehensive collaboration, with a focus on economics, finance and agriculture.

A day earlier, Nguyen Tan Dung also talked with his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban. Both sides agreed to step up bilateral economic, trade and education ties. Orban expressed his wish to visit Viet Nam in the near future.

During a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, both leaders hailed the recent outcomes of their bilateral co-operation to implement the Viet Nam-France Strategic Partnership. They agreed to increase delegation exchanges and reach consensus on creating new impetus for their partnership in fields such as economics, security-defence, infrastructure, aviation and energy.

They compared notes on international and regional issues of common concern, pledging to work together closely to organise the 21st UN conference on climate change in Paris next year.

President Hollande supported the maintenance of peace, stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region, including security, safety and freedom of navigation, and the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Vietnamese leader held a meeting with his Italian counterpart, Matteo Renzi, who holds the EU Chairmanship and chaired the ASEM-10 Summit. The two sides agreed that Viet Nam and Italy should join forces to make economic co-operation a key pillar in their strategic partnership.

They discussed measures to encourage their business communities to promote links with the goal of reaching US$5 billion in bilateral trade by 2015 and pledged to continue working closely at international and regional forums.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the Italian PM affirmed his support for ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and settling disputes by peaceful means based on international law and UNCLOS. Italy also affirmed its support for the enhancement of relations between Viet Nam and the European Union, including the early ratification of the Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA), as well as the EU's prompt recognition of Viet Nam's full economic market status along with the conclusion of the Viet Nam-EU free trade agreement.

In a meeting with the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, PM Dung spoke highly of Sweden's provision of official development assistance to Viet Nam, especially in healthcare, climate change and gender equality.

The two PMs stressed the need to increase connections between their respective investors, especially in green technology, transport and healthcare.

Meeting his Irish counterpart, Dung spoke highly of the effectiveness of ODA provided by Ireland in the fields of healthcare, education and the settlement of the consequences of unexploded ordnance.

The two sides agreed to focus their co-operation on education, climate change and agriculture, people-to-people exchanges and child adoption.

The Irish PM expressed his country's willingness to share experience and support Viet Nam in UN peacekeeping missions.

On this occasion, the Vietnamese Prime Minister also met leaders of Finland, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. During the meetings, PM Dung suggested ratifying the PCA and concluding the Viet Nam-EU FTA as soon as possible and congratulated Kazakhstan on its official ASEM membership.

He also met with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who affirmed that the new Government continued to consider Viet Nam a key partner in the Asia-Pacific region.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between Viet Nam's Ben Tre province and Tulcea province in Romania, which is supported by the EU and includes projects that are part of the framework of the ASEM Mekong-Danube co-operation plan. This was the first local co-operation project between Viet Nam and an EU member state within the ASEM inter-regional framework.

FM meetings

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh also held separate meetings with his Philippine and Norwegian counterparts on the fringes of the 10th ASEM.

The Vietnamese FM and his Philippine counterpart Albert F. Del Rosario shared their delight at closer wide-ranging co-operation and increasing mutual trust between the two countries.

They agreed that greater efforts were needed to elevate bilateral relations to a new height, advancing towards the strategic partnership level.

Regarding regional and global issues of mutual concern, they reached consensus on stepping up connections for the successful formation of an ASEAN community by 2015 and promoting the bloc's central role as well as its common voice on issues pertaining to regional peace and security, including the East Sea issue.

FM Minh and his Norwegian counterpart, Brge Brende, were unanimous that Norwegian investors should be given favourable conditions to get involved in shipbuilding, energy, aquaculture, communications and human resource training in Viet Nam. Meanwhile, the two countries vowed to speed the completion of a Free Trade Agreement between Viet Nam and the European Free Trade Association (Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein).

The Norwegian FM spoke highly of Viet Nam's active participation in international organisations, affirming that Norway sought to bolster co-operation with Viet Nam at the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEM. — VNS

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