Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc affirmed Việt Nam’s consistent policy of reinforcing all-round ties with Thailand during a reception in Hà Nội yesterday for Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
In that spirit, he called for active implementation of the Joint Statement on the outcomes of the third Việt Nam-Thailand Joint Cabinet meeting, the action programme on the Việt Nam-Thailand strategic partnership for 2014-2018, and bilateral co-operation mechanisms. To lift two-way trade to US$20 billion by 2020, both sides should devise specific measures to implement the Action Programme on Việt Nam-Thailand Trade and Investment for 2015-2020, he said.
The Vietnamese government pledged all possible support for Thai firms operating in the country and encouraged Thai investment in the areas of oil and gas, electricity, construction of industrial zones, garment and textiles, food production, chemicals and tourism, he said.
He also wished that the two countries’ ministries and agencies would sign new co-operation deals, ensure the progress of joint projects, and increase connectivity between the two economies by building a coastal transport route linking Thailand, Cambodia and Việt Nam and by creating a Thailand-Laos-Việt Nam bus service.
The two sides should also push ahead with the bilateral defence agreement and co-operation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the Royal Thai Police, promptly sign an agreement on criminal extradition, and increase the use of a hotline between the two countries’ navies to deal with issues arising at sea, including those involving fishermen and vessels.
The host suggested embarking on a labour co-operation agreement and offering favourable conditions to Vietnamese workers in Thailand.
He stressed that Việt Nam highly valued Thai PM Prayuth Chan-ocha’s speech to the Shangrila Dialogue in Singapore in June, and asked Thailand to continue intensifying collaboration within ASEAN to maintain the bloc’s stance on the East Sea issue, toward the early formulation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
Expressing thanks to Thailand for its support for Việt Nam recovery from drought and saline intrusion in the southern region, Phúc said the two sides needed to partner with countries and international organisations in the sustainable and effective use and management of Mekong water resources in accordance with international practices, ensuring the interest of downstream Mekong countries.
Pramudwinai, for his part, underscored Thailand’s wish to develop ties with Việt Nam across the board, considering it a top priority.
Thailand vowed to seriously execute signed agreements, promote Thai investment in Việt Nam, and to work closely with countries concerned in the effective and sustainable use and management of Mekong water resource, he said.
The guest also proposed closer joint work in rice exportation, tourism and labour and asked that the Vietnamese government provide all possible support for Thai firms operating in the country.
On the East Sea issue, he said parties concerned must exert efforts to settle disputes and to cooperate to transform the East Sea into an area of peace, stability and development.
The Thai Foreign Minister also conveyed PM Chan-ocha’s invitation to PM Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to visit Thailand in the near future.
Meeting Vietnamese FM
Earlier yesterday, Việt Nam and Thailand agreed to enhance their economic connectivity through the action plan on bilateral trade and investment cooperation, to augment their trade to US$20 billion by 2020.
The consensus was reached during talks between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and the visiting Thai Foreign Minister. The visit from July 7–10 is the latter’s first tour of Việt Nam while serving as Thai Foreign Minister.
They noted that economic, trade and investment co-operation were important pillars in the two Southeast Asian nations’ strategic partnership.
Deputy PM and FM Minh stressed that Việt Nam would continue creating the best possible conditions for Thai enterprises to trade with and invest in Việt Nam. Thailand should also facilitate Vietnamese companies’ access to its markets.
He asked Thailand to promote investment in its strongest spheres such as tourism, farm produce processing and support industries. Cà Mau, Quảng Trị and Bình Định provinces, and Cần Thơ and Huế cities are among those he suggested Thai firms invest in.
At the talks, the two sides highly valued the rapid and effective development of bilateral cooperation, as seen through tightened links in politics and diplomacy, security and defence, culture, education and tourism, and between their ministries and localities.
They agreed to maintain all-level delegation exchanges, while effectively realising the outcomes of the third joint Cabinet meeting in July 2015, and the action programme to implement the Việt Nam–Thailand strategic partnership between 2014–2018.
They will also work together to review the execution of the agreements reached at the second meeting of the joint committee on bilateral cooperation in March 2015, and prepare for the third meeting.
The host official asked Thailand to continue providing favourable conditions for Vietnamese expatriates in the country.
The two foreign ministers also concurred in bolstering ties at regional and international forums, especially ASEAN, the United Nations, the Asia–Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, and other co-operation mechanisms in the Greater Mekong region.
Minh requested that Thailand continue promoting its role and coordinating closely with Việt Nam and other ASEAN countries to ensure ASEAN’s unity and common stance on regional and international matters, including the East Sea issue.
It should continue efforts to maintain peace, stability, security and safety of navigation and overflight, push for the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of internationally recognised principles, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, urge relevant parties to fully respect legal and diplomatic processes and seriously comply with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and accelerate the building of a code of conduct in the waters (COC), he added.
Both countries also need to intensify cooperation with each other, with other countries and with international organisations in developing, managing and sustainably using the Mekong River’s water resources in line with international practice, so as to ensure the interests of the nations in the lower river areas, Minh noted.
Meanwhile, the two foreign ministries should press ahead with realising their cooperation agreement signed in March 2015 and in organising activities to mark 40 years of the countries’ diplomatic relationship which takes place in 2016, the officials added. — VNS