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Jan 03, 2015 / 11:52

Vietnam stays active and resolute in foreign affairs

Vietnam is seen as a pro-active and responsible member of the international community with expanded relations with all nations across the globe.

The year 2014 witnessed a broad array of extensive diplomatic activities which achieved specific results.

Diplomatic activities contributed to creating a favourable international environment for the national development and supported defending sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The year 2014 marked an important milestone in Vietnam’s external activities with comprehensive achievements recorded in three targets-development, security and status.

In terms of economic diplomacy, the country made great strides on the path of the deeper global integration, demonstrated by the outstanding results from Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between Vietnam and other nations.

FTA signing ceremony between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Russia- Belarus-Kazakhstan

To date, Vietnam has finalized 2 out of 6 FTA negotiations, including FTAs with the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the Customs Union of Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan, while maintaining the momentum in the FTA negotiations with the European Union (EU) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Both important trade agreements are in the final stages and are expected for completion in the first quarter of 2015.

During the Vietnam visit in August 2014, Vice President of the European Commission (EC) and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton highlighted the practical benefits the FTA brought to bilateral ties.

Ms Ashton said the Vietnam-EU FTA will offer plentiful opportunities for Vietnamese businesses to make considerable inroad into the EU market. The negotiations are progressing well, signalling good results in line with the roadmap as expected by concerned parties, she said.

By establishing 14 strategic partnerships and 11 comprehensive partnerships, Vietnam’s external activities in 2014 continued to make the strategic comprehensive partnerships more effective and substantial, delivering practical benefits.

Thanks to diplomatic efforts at all levels, the country mobilized additional 12 partners (the five-year highest numbers) to recognize the market economy status, bringing the total number of partners recognizing its full market economy to 56.

Notably, the US for the first time confirmed the recognition of Vietnam’s market economy status without any political problems and the US will finish this recognition soon.

The Joint Declaration issued during the EU visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in October 2014 asserted the EU helped Vietnam successfully integrate into the world economy as a market economy.

During the year, fine political relations and diplomacy facilitated attracting direct foreign investment (FDI), reaching an impressive figure of nearly US$20 billion, exceeding the set target of 15% despite the continued global economic downturn.

Protecting sovereignty, maintaining peaceful and stable environment
In addition to fulfilling development goals, the diplomatic sector was in "baptism of fire" with the deft handling of issues relating to sovereignty over the East Sea. After China’s  illegal stationing of its giant oil rig-981 in Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, Vietnam conducted than 40 meetings and exchanges at all levels and sectors with the Chinese side.

On the other hand, at every regional and international forum, Vietnam has always clarified its unwavering and justified stance on the East Sea issue, maritime security and safety, adherence to international law and peaceful settlement of disputes.

Vietnam’s clear-cut stance received sympathy and widespread support from the international community. Many countries and organizations voiced their support for Vietnam while protesting China’s actions of violating international laws. In particular, within ASEAN, Vietnam maximized efforts to maintain unity and common ground on the East Sea issue.

The year 2014, for the first time in nearly 20 years, the regional grouping released a Declaration on the East Sea issue, which asks all concerned parties not to use of force in disputes and fully and properly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) between ASEAN and China to accelerate the early signing of a Code of Conduct of parties in the East Sea (COC).

Commenting on Vietnam’s diplomatic efforts in the East Sea issue, Deputy Foreign Minister cum Vietnam Ambassador to the US Pham Quang Vinh said, "I think the diplomatic sector has promoted the country’s stance to the international community to help them better understand and share in dealing with problems.

These have created a favourable environment for the protection of the sovereignty of our territory, while providing a framework for regional countries to seek ways to protect the environment of peace and stability and exert greater efforts to speed up the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea. "

Demonstrating profile and role in global issues

The year 2014 marked the remarkable results of the Vietnamese diplomatic sector, prominently evidenced by exchange visits by senior leaders from the US, Russia and the EU with a view to deepening bilateral relations between Vietnam and other countries and opening an important dialogue pathway to enhance understanding in resolving disputes towards a foundation of peace and prosperity in the region and the world at large.

Vietnam continued to well perform its role at regional and international forums and in organizations such as the UN, ASEAN, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC).
 

President Truong Tan Sang meeting President of the Philippines Benigno Aquino III
on the sidelines of the APEC Summit


The Southeast Asian nation made significant contributions to the successful organization of international such as the APEC Human Resources Ministerial Conference, the ASEM Seminar on Human Rights, and the proposed establishment of the APEC Human Resources Development Centre in Vietnam.

2014 was the first year Vietnam assumed important positions in multilateral cooperation mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors.

The country was a member of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO and it is preparing for the hosting of the General Assembly of the 132nd Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132) in 2015.

On the basis of foreign policy achievements in 2014, Vietnam, in 2015, is set to continue to implement the comprehensive integration policy by expanding relations with all countries, being a responsible member of the international community and becoming involved in other international issues.

The year 2015 promises to create fresh milestones for Vietnam’s foreign affairs.

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