Viet Nam News
SHANGHAI – Việt Nam attached importance to developing its friendly, stable, healthy and sustainable relationship with China, and considered it one of the top priorities of the country’s foreign policy, said Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
He made the statement at a meeting with Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping in Shanghai on Sunday as part of his trip to China to attend the first International Import Expo of China (CIIE 2018).
PM Phúc called for joint efforts to maintain high-level visits and meetings, increase mutual political trust, promote important co-operation mechanisms between the two parties and countries, further utilise the potential of each side and boost co-operation in areas that made practical progress.
The guest congratulated China on the achievements it had recorded after 40 years of reform, and expressed his wish that under the leadership of the Communist Party of China led by Xi Jinping, the Chinese people would be able to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, democratic, civilised, harmonious and beautiful.
He also lauded China’s initiatives to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, as well as its Belt and Road Initiative.
Việt Nam backed the Mekong-Lancang co-operation in combination with the framework of the Greater Mekong Sub-region collaboration for effective use and management of water resources and sustainable development, he noted.
PM Phúc expressed his belief that the CIIE 2018 would open up new co-operation channels for goods distribution, helping promote official trade activities and brand building so that more and more Vietnamese commodities would be consumed in the Chinese market.
He asked the Chinese side to make it easier for Vietnamese goods to enter its market, and devise practical policies and measures to reduce Việt Nam’s big trade deficit towards promoting stable and sustainable growth of bilateral trade.
Việt Nam always welcomed Chinese investment in the country, he said.
Regarding sea-related issues, the Vietnamese Government leader applauded the positive results of negotiations and co-operation mechanisms in less sensitive areas in the sea between the two countries, as well as initial progress for the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) between ASEAN and China.
He suggested the two sides respect each others’ legitimate interests, realise the common perceptions of the two countries’ leaders and the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Việt Nam and China, and patiently solve disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in order to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea and the region.
For his part, Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping said that PM Phúc’s participation in the expo reflected the Vietnamese Government’s respect for their bilateral relations.
He stressed that the Chinese Party and State always treasured ties with Việt Nam, and agreed to maintain high-level contacts to bolster political understanding and foster all-round co-operation in a practical manner with the Southeast Asian country.
He added that both sides would work together to enhance people-to-people exchanges and consolidate their traditional friendship while maintaining peace and sustainability at sea and creating favourable conditions for bilateral ties to thrive.
Regarding economic-trade cooperation, Xi stated that China would import more goods from Việt Nam to balance trade with the neighbouring country.
In 2017, Việt Nam’s shipments to China rose 36.8 per cent and China would continue to promote the trend, he said.
Welcoming Chinese firms
On the same day, while hosting a reception for leaders of major Chinese groups operating in finance, construction and infrastructure development, PM Phúc said that the Vietnamese Government always welcomed Chinese investment.
PM Phúc spoke highly of Chinese corporations’ business achievements at home and abroad.
The Chinese businessmen lauded Việt Nam’s socio-economic development while saying they would continue to expand and invest in finance, insurance, banking, energy and transport infrastructure in Việt Nam.
They expressed their hope that the Vietnamese Government and relevant authorities would create favourable conditions for them to join large projects in the country.
Vice Chairman of Ping An Trust Song Chengli said that his corporation had strengths in finance, insurance, banking and investment with total assets of 6 trillion yuan (US$870 billion).
The group was in the world’s top 500 enterprises and ranked 7th among the leading global financial giants, he said, adding that he was interested in Việt Nam’s mechanisms to protect foreign financial firms, especially those investing in local credit organisations.
Chairman of China Greenland Zhang Yuliang expressed his pleasure at meeting PM Phúc in Shanghai, saying that his firm had co-operated with many large groups around the world and had total assets worth $150 billion.
He said that Việt Nam was a potential market with great co-operation opportunities, especially in agriculture, adding that Vietnamese farm produce and food were also welcomed in the Chinese market.
For his part, PM Phúc spoke highly of the groups’ plans to invest and expand in Việt Nam.
He applauded the fields in which Chinese firms wanted to pour cash into Vietnam, including agriculture, food production, finance and transport infrastructure development.
The PM asked representatives from Vietnamese ministries and sectors to collect opinions and proposals from Chinese firms and then arrange working sessions to discuss how to realise their business ideas.
With its current development pace, from now to 2020, Việt Nam needed $25 billion per year for infrastructure development, PM Phúc said, noting that it was a promising land for international investors, including China, to cultivate, as it is one of Việt Nam’s priorities for the country’s socio-economic development.
He expressed his hope that Chinese firms would promote imports of Vietnamese agro-forestry-fishery products. – VNS