|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (first, left) delivers his speech at the closing ceremony of the 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
ULAN BATOR – Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc joined world leaders at the 15th Asia-Europe Business Forum (AEBF) in Mongolia’s capital Ulan Bator yesterday, asking for high resolve to promote Asia-Europe co-operation and integration.
The forum, themed “Connectivity for Inclusive Growth”, was among the events in the run up to the two-day 11th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit started today. It drew 600 representatives of leading businesses across the two continents, including Việt Nam’s Vietnam Airlines Corporation, the Việt Nam Oil and Gas Group and the Bank for Investment and Development of Việt Nam (BIDV).
As the first leader to give a speech at the AEBF’s closing session, PM Phúc highly valued the forum’s role in enhancing Asia-Europe business partnerships and improving the business climate. He also highlighted enterprises’ significant contributions to the continents’ all-round development and stature.
He described businesses as the growth engine of Asian and European economies, stressing their role, especially that of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in job creation.
The Vietnamese PM called on the participating leaders to help SMEs to integrate and take part in global value chains.
He asked Asian and European nations to take the lead in sustainable trade and investment co-operation mechanisms within ASEM to cope with such challenges as poverty that is caused by unfair trade, development gaps between countries and climate change, and to ensure the sustainable development of each member country.
He also asked for continued support for partnerships and free trade agreements (FTAs) among countries in Asia and Europe such as the ASEAN Community, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and EU – ASEAN and India – ASEAN co-operation.
The ASEM member nations are very important partners of Việt Nam during its reforms, development and international integration, Phúc said.
“Nineteen out of 25 strategic and comprehensive partners of Việt Nam are ASEM members, accounting for 70 per cent of foreign investment in and foreign trade with Việt Nam. About 80 per cent of international tourists to the country are from ASEM nations,” he said.
Việt Nam has signed and is negotiating 16 FTAs, 14 of which are with ASEM partners, he said, adding that it inked an FTA with the Eurasian Economic Union in June 2015. It is working closely with other ASEAN member states to promote a partnership and co-operation agreement with the EU and an FTA between the two blocs.
VN-Mongolia trade links
Also yesterday, PM Phúc said at the Việt Nam-Mongolia Business Leaders Forum that the Vietnamese and Mongolian Governments had agreed to create the most favourable conditions for the two countries’ enterprises to further expand trade and investment links in the time ahead.
Representatives from the two sides’ businesses highlighted the great potential for stronger co-operation, and expressed their interest about a series of co-operation fields, including agriculture, food, tourism, construction, mining, and textiles and garments.
They revealed that the Việt Nam-Mongolia Joint Business Council was set up to push trade and investment links, especially in hi-tech agriculture and farm products.
They suggested the two Governments consider opening a direct air route between the two countries to facilitate import-export activities and multi-faceted co-operation among their firms.
Việt Nam hoped to export farm produce, food, aquatic products, fruit and vegetables, and electronics, Phúc noted.
Meanwhile, Mongolian investors said they were willing to co-operate with Vietnamese counterparts to ship meat to Việt Nam.
At present, two-way bilateral trade between the two nations hits about US$175 million.
Việt Nam mainly exports phones, fruit and vegetables, and consumer products to Mongolia, while importing metals and materials for the garment and footwear sectors from the East Asian nation.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc had separate bilateral meetings with Chinese, Bulgarian and the host-country leaders yesterday on the sidelines of the 11th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit.
At the meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, PM Phúc affirmed that Việt Nam consistently pursues its foreign policy of peace, independence, self-reliance, diversification and multilateralisation, and intensive international integration, while attaching importance to developing its friendly neighbourliness and comprehensive co-operation with China.
He suggested the two Governments direct their agencies to effectively implement common perceptions and results of the ninth session of the Việt Nam-China Steering Committee on Bilateral Co-operation, maintain regular delegation exchanges to intensify political trust and mutual understanding and to boost practical co-operation.
The Vietnamese Government leader urged China to increase imports of Việt Nam’s advantageous goods like agro-forestry-fishery products and welcomed Chinese investors with good capacity to take part in projects which meet Việt Nam’s sustainable development requirements.
Regarding the East Sea (South China Sea) issue, Phúc reaffirmed Việt Nam’s welcoming stance on the Arbitral Tribunal’s ruling against China’s claims in the East Sea on Tuesday. He suggested both sides strictly follow common perceptions and agreements reached by their senior leaders, including the agreement on basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues.
The two countries should step up negotiations on sea-related issues, while controlling disputes at sea, avoiding complicating the situation, implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) comprehensively and effectively, and soon signing a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) in order to maintain peace and stability in the region, he added.
Premier Li, in turn, confirmed that China attaches importance to consolidating and developing its neighborly friendship and all-round co-operation with Việt Nam.
China is willing to intensify strategic dialogues with Việt Nam, boost win-win co-operation across sectors, follow common perceptions on maritime issues, and control and address disputes properly so as to develop the China-Việt Nam comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership stably and sustainably, he stated.
Also on the day, PM Phúc and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev exchanged notes on measures to further foster bilateral relations as well as on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
The Vietnamese leader spoke of the establishment of a joint working group within the framework of the Việt Nam-Bulgaria Inter-governmental Committee to define Việt Nam’s potential semi-processed products to be processed into finished items in Bulgaria.
PM Phúc congratulated Mongolia’s Speaker of the Parliament Miyegombo Enkhbold on his new appointment as the parliament speaker and thanked the Mongolian people for their valuable support for Việt Nam during its struggle for independence in the past.
He proposed the two countries maintain the regular exchange of all-level visits to enhance all-round relations. He also conveyed the invitation of National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân to Miyegombo Enkhbold to visit Việt Nam.
For his part, the host said Việt Nam was Mongolia’s key partner in Southeast Asia, hoping that the country would support Mongolia’s bid to become a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum. – VNS