|Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Xuân Sơn. Photo MoFA
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s official visits to Austria, Belgium, Denmark and the European Union (EU) had created many breakthroughs to bring Việt Nam’s relations with its partners to a height, manifesting Việt Nam’s responsibility to the international community, according to Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister of Foreign Affairs Bùi Xuân Sơn.
In an interview with Vietnam News Agency, Sơn said leaders of the countries and the EU had frank and practical exchanges of ideas with PM Phúc.
They attached great importance to relations with Việt Nam and highly valued the country’s international and regional position and role. They also expressed their support to the settlement of the disputes in the East Sea by peaceful means on the basis of the international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Sơn pointed out that Việt Nam and the EU were striving to push for the early signing, ratification and implementation of the EU–Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA). The European Commission’s adoption of a decision to submit the EVFTA during the tour met the two sides’ interests, Sơn said.
Concerning the significance of the 12th Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM), Sơn said the chairman’s statement sent a strong message on the determination of ASEM members to strengthen Asia–Europe relations to cope with global challenges and plans to raise ASEM co-operation.
First, it was necessary to bring into full play the pioneering role that pushed the multilateral co-operation and international order on the basis of law, with the United Nations playing the central role.
Second, efforts should be made to accelerate links bewteen ASEM.
Third, commitments had been made regarding the maintenance of peace, stability, security, maritime safety, navigation and aviation freedom on the basis of international law. The members stressed the importance of the peaceful settlement of the disputes in line with international law, especially the UN Charters and UNCLOS, refraining from the use or the threat to use force or unilateral actions that ran counter to UNCLOS, and carrying out measures to build trust while practising self restraint.
The meeting supported the important contributions made by ASEAN to peace, security, stability and prosperity in Asia–Pacific and the world over, as well as ASEAN’s role in the regional structure. The success of the 12th ASEM summit showed the practical, dynamic development and position of ASEM that had created new driving forces for the partnership and connection between Asia and Europe.
As a founding member of ASEM and the P4G Summit, Việt Nam had contributed to their common success. At ASEM 12, PM Phúc was one of the eight leaders of 53 ASEM member states invited to make a keynote speech at the 16th Asia-Europe Business Meeting (AEBM 16).
Member states spoke highly of Việt Nam’s practical proposals to lift the Asia-Europe partnership to the third decade, especially upholding ASEM’s vanguard role in promoting multilateral co-operation and coping with global challenges, stepping up inclusive socio-economic development, and connecting innovation and ASEM human resources development centres, as well as female entrepreneurs.
In order to effectively cope with climate change, Việt Nam urged developed nations to help developing countries access finance and technological transfer, and invest in clean energy. At the same time, ASEM needed to contribute to common efforts to reduce the release of plastic waste into the oceans, sustainable trans-border water resources management and promote collaboration between the Mekong and Danube Sub-regions.
Việt Nam also received support for two proposals on developing ASEM co-operation in inclusive socio-economic development and promotion of digital economy amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Member states welcomed Việt Nam’s suggestion to promote dialogue and co-operation to maintain peace, security and stability in Southeast Asia, including the East Sea. Participants at the AEBM 16 lauded Việt Nam’s proposal to hold regular dialogues to promote the ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meeting and dialogues between economic ministers and the business community.
At the P4G Summit held for the first time under the chair of Danish PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen, the Vietnamese PM highlighted the importance of strengthening global efforts in response to climate change, affirming that Việt Nam would work closely with the forum’s member governments to realise global green growth goals, and launch initiatives on public-private partnerships in green growth, especially in energy and renewable energy saving, agriculture and water resources.
The leader shared Việt Nam’s experience in achieving the forum’s common goals, including the establishment of the P4G national forum.
Việt Nam urged ministries, agencies, local authorities and businesses to join initiatives on plastic waste management and waste classification, as well as building a joint financial model in water supply and drainage in Việt Nam.
On the occasion, PM Phúc held nearly 20 official meetings with his counterparts from China, Russia, the UK, Norway, Spain, Finland, Poland, the Netherlands, Italy and Slovenia; the presidents of France and the Republic of Korea; and the president of the European Commission.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh also met the President of Cyprus, the Swedish Foreign Minister and the Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs. — VNS