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Nov 12, 2022 / 20:46

Vietnam PM works with top leaders at ASEAN Summits

Separate meetings with leaders of regional countries will help Vietnam seek avenues for further partnership amid global challenges.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh held talks with top leaders of Southeast Asian countries, the South Korean president, the United Nations Secretary-General, and the Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum at the ongoing ASEAN Summits in Cambodia.

The separate meetings allow the Vietnamese PM and his counterparts and high-ranking officials to discuss ways to foster relations between Vietnam and ASEAN nations as well as the country and world major organizations.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the ASEAN Summits in Cambodia. Photos: VGP 

Vietnam-the United Nations: At the meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, PM Chinh said Vietnam will continue implementing agreements reached during Guterres’ visit to Vietnam in October 2022 and wants the UN to extend its support in making monetary and financial policies.

They stressed the importance of proper management for macroeconomics, inflation, and interest rates amid global uncertainties in the next year while expressing concerns over food and energy crisis that requires resilience of each country. In this regard, the UN Secretary-General highly appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in the economic recovery and the country’s preparations for further international integration.

PM Chinh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Phnom Penh.  

Vietnam-China: The talks between PM Chinh and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang focused on the two countries’ continuation of agreements reached by top leaders, exchange of high-ranking visits, boosting trade and facilitating border trade in farm produce from Vietnam ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Vietnam expects China to upgrade some border gates and tackle problems in investment projects in Vietnam while hoping for China’s cooperation in addressing emerging challenges like food security, water security, and climate change.

For his part, Premier Li pledged to solve trade deficit for Vietnam by opening the Chinese market for more goods, mostly farm produce from the neighboring country with a promise not to let the border clogging recur. 

Li also promised to set up a joint group to solve problems in investment projects while facilitating the return of Vietnamese students to China and resuming commercial flights between the two countries.

Apart from the issues, the two PMs highlighted the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea with efforts to abide by international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

PM Chinh and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol in Cambodia.  

Vietnam-South Korea: The meeting between PM Chinh and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol covered cooperation in digital transformation and green growth with a large part of the discussion focusing on further trade, investment, and official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam.

As Vietnam’s top investor, South Korea’s investment capital and ODA means a lot to the economic development of Vietnam. For that reason, the talks highlighted both sides’ efforts to boost investment while extending cooperation in cybersecurity, and biotechnology.

Last but not least are people-to-people links. Vietnam witnesses the increasing influx of South Korean nationals and investments while South Korea is home to hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese students, workers, and brides.

PM Chinh and Thailand's PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in Cambodia. 

Vietnam-Thailand: At the meeting with his counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha, PM Chinh asked Thailand to speed up the licensing of Vietnamese fruit imports such as pomelo, custard apple, rambutan, passion fruit, and encourage Thai retailers to place Vietnamese products in their distribution chains.

Currently, Thailand is Vietnam’s biggest trade partner and export market in ASEAN while Vietnam is Thailand’s 2nd biggest trade partner in the bloc with two-way trade reaching US$18.8 billion in 2021.

The two PMs agreed to support each other within the Greater Mekong Subregion while focusing on Thai investment with priorities given to tourism, energy, food processing, hi-tech agriculture, and infrastructure.

Vietnam expects Thailand to soon complete a revised agreement on labor recruitment. Hanoi highly appreciated Thailand’s hosting of the 29th APEC 2022 later this month which will be attended by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a Vietnamese high-ranking delegation.

PM Chinh and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a meeting in Phnom Penh.  

Vietnam-Indonesia: The meeting between PM Chinh and Indonesian President Joko Widodo marked the two sides’ efforts in implementing the Strategic Partnership through Action Plan for 2019-2023.

Vietnam requested Indonesia to remove barriers to Vietnamese food and agricultural products for balancing trade relations. In 2021, Indonesia was Vietnam’s 12th biggest trade partner. The bilateral trade turnover hit US$11.4 billion in 2021.

Apart from that, the two countries have worked closely with each other in multilateral agendas, especially ASEAN and the United Nations.

PM Chinh meets with Filipino President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos in Cambodia. 

Vietnam-the Philippines: The talks between PM Chinh and Filipino President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos included measures to boost trade which hit US$6.8 billion in 2021, the highest-ever figure so far and the removal of barriers for greater import of rice and farm produce.  from Vietnam.

The two leaders spoke highly of the comprehensive cooperation in the Strategic Partnership over the past time. They discussed the preparations for the upcoming visit paid to the Philippines by Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue.

PM Chinh and Malaysia’s Speaker of the House of Representatives Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun during the ASEAN Summits.  

Vietnam-Malaysia will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties in 2023. The issue was touched upon at the meeting between PM Chinh and Malaysia’s Speaker of the House of Representatives Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun.

The two leaders talked of visit exchange and efforts to boost trade and investment as well as maintaining supply chains as Vietnam expected to export more goods to Malaysia.

As Vietnam and Malaysia are both members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the global trade deal which took effect early this year, they target to increase the two-way trade to US$25 billion by 2030 from $11.8 billion in 2021. Last year, Malaysia was the 9th largest trade partner of Vietnam while Vietnam was the 11th largest trade partner and 7th largest export market of  Malaysia.

The Malaysian speaker wanted to soon visit Vietnam after receiving an invitation from Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue. 

PM Chinh hosts a meeting with World Economic Forum (WEF) Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab in Cambodia. 

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum (WEF) Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said he’s impressed with Vietnam’s economic recovery while PM Chinh highly appreciated the role of WEF in forming new cooperation models to address global challenges at the meeting in Phnom Penh.

Schwab said WEF welcome Vietnamese leaders to WEF Davos 2023 as he believed that Vietnam will bring along a story on effective recovery amid global challenges.

Chinh expected WEF to support Vietnam in building an independent economy and connect with leading global corporations and funds. He hoped that WEF will cooperate with Vietnam to host regional and global conferences in the country  in the future