|Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc visits booths at the 13th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO). — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất|
GUANGXI — Việt Nam supports ASEAN-China co-operation and is ready to act as a bridge between the ASEAN Economic Community and China, said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
He made the remark while opening the 13th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the 13th China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) in Nanning, Guangxi, yesterday.
"Việt Nam is also willing to boost partnerships with ASEAN countries in all fields, maintaining stability and settling differences peacefully, thus ensuring smooth economic activities and contributing to peace, co-operation and development in the region," he said.
The Vietnamese Government leader said that Việt Nam had great interest in CAEXPOs, shown by the country’s active participation in the events.
As the Country of Honour for the first time, Việt Nam has organised more than 250 booths for this year’s event, a 35 per cent rise from 2015, and is still the ASEAN country with the largest number of booths at the exhibition.
The PM highlighted Việt Nam’s socio-economic targets in line with the sustainable development goals for 2016-2020, as well as the country’s determination to integrate with the world.
So far, Việt Nam has joined 12 free trade agreements and was negotiating four other deals, including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in which ASEAN countries and China are involved.
Việt Nam also enjoyed economic and trade partnerships with 224 countries and territories, he said, saying that soon, Vietnam would trade freely with 55 more partners including 15 G20 members. Partners of Vietnamese businesses would also have opportunities to access a market with two-thirds of the world population and three-fourths of global GDP, he noted.
Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli reviewed co-operation between China and ASEAN, stressing that China attached much importance to links with the ASEAN.
He also made a number of proposals on policies for bilateral co-operation, underlining strengthening of political trust to lay a firm foundation for partnership in economics, trade, production capacity, resource connection, and people-to-people contacts.
The Vietnamese exhibition space is expected to welcome 800,000-100,000 visitors during the four-day event, where Vietnamese firms will seek partners and introduce their products to China and ASEAN countries.
First held in Nanning in 2004, the annual exhibition has become important for trade and investment co-operation between China and ASEAN.
Meeting Chinese Vice Premier
Earlier on Saturday, PM Phúc received Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli during his stay in Nanning, as part of his official visit to China at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang from September 10-15.
Phúc told the Chinese Vice Premier that this was the first time Việt Nam had attended the CAEXPO as the Honorary Country, which was a good opportunity for Việt Nam to enhance economic, trade and investment co-operation with China and other ASEAN countries.
The PM thanked the Chinese Government for providing support to Vietnamese firms and localities in participating in the expo, adding that he believes the event will be successful thanks to thorough preparations from the host country and the participation of ASEAN countries.
He lauded the progress in Việt Nam-China co-operation in several fields, and informed his guest that during the visit, he intended to discuss with Chinese Party and Government leaders measures to promote the stable and healthy development of bilateral ties, including maintaining meetings between senior officials.
The two sides should also encourage exchanges and win-win cooperation, as well as closer co-ordination to solve outstanding issues, PM Phúc said.
He said that the two sides should work together to effectively control disputes at sea and deal with disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law, particularly the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, thus maintaining peace and stability in the East Sea.
Phúc affirmed that Việt Nam pursues an external policy of peace, independence, multilateralisation and diversification, with strengthening friendship with China being a leading priority.
Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli expressed his belief that the visit of Prime Minister Phúc would be a success, bolstering relations between the two Parties and countries.
He noted that the presence of the PM and many Vietnamese firms at the 13th CAEXPO demonstrated the importance the Vietnamese Government attaches to China-Việt Nam and ASEAN-China ties.
The Vice Premier affirmed that the Chinese Party and Government attach importance to relations with Việt Nam, and hope the two sides would maintain high-level contact, enhance political trust, promote co-operation, expand people-to-people exchanges while handling disputes to maintain stable development of the comprehensive strategic co-operative partnership between the two countries.
Also on Saturday, PM Phúc had a meeting with Secretary of the Party Committee of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region Peng Qinghua, during which he highlighted the role played by China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, which borders Việt Nam, in developing the partnership between the two countries.
Guangxi actively co-operated with Vietnamese ministries, agencies and localities over past years, the PM said yesterday.
Phúc highlighted exchanges and co-operation between Guangxi and Vietnamese localities, saying that Peng Qinghua visited Việt Nam several times, and that trade between Việt Nam and Guangxi reached nearly US$25 billion in 2015.
4,000 of the roughly 10,000 Vietnamese students in China study in Guangxi, he added.
Affirming the importance Việt Nam attaches to friendship with China, the PM suggested the two sides carry forward existing co-operative mechanisms and work out solutions to facilitate economic, trade, investment and tourism ties, especially the circulation of the two countries’ imports and exports.
He called on the Chinese side to import more Vietnamese products to balance bilateral trade.
The two countries should accelerate the upgrade and building of border gates and enhance co-ordination in fighting crimes, ensuring security and addressing labour-related issues near the border.
Việt Nam would take note of Guangxi’s proposals of increasing transport connectivity and building border economic co-operation areas, the Vietnamese leader said, hailing Guangxi’s efforts to expand win-win co-operation with Vietnamese localities.
Peng Qinghua affirmed that the Party, authorities and people of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region place importance on consolidating the time-honoured friendship with Vietnamese ministries, agencies and localities.
He briefed PM Phúc on Guangxi’s measures to expand exchanges and step up collaboration with Vietnamese localities in economy, trade, culture, education and tourism, as well as its efforts to boost cross-border goods exchanges and to resolve labour-related disputes in the border area.
The official noted his wish to work with Việt Nam in the transport sector, especially the construction of the Lạng Sơn-Hà Nội-Hải Phòng-Hạ Long-Vân Đồn-Móng Cái expressway, the Đồng Đăng-Hà Nội express railway and border economic zones. — VNS