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Vietnam mulls concrete steps to bolster cooperation with ASEAN countries
Ngoc Mai 22:33, 2023/05/10
Vietnam is looking forward to strengthening cooperation with Laos, Singapore, and Brunei in a variety of fields.

Vietnam is taking concrete steps to bolster cooperation with countries in the region for mutual benefit. 

This view was shared at separate meetings between Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and the leaders of Laos, Brunei, and Singapore today [May 10] on the sidelines of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.

 Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Laos Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone. Photos: Nhat Bac
 
Launch of two major Vietnam-Laos projects in May

In a meeting with Lao Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Prime Minister Chinh expressed his pleasure to meet his counterpart again and conveyed warm greetings from General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other senior leaders of Vietnam to the Lao leaders.

Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone expressed his gratitude to Vietnam for its effective support and cooperation in the socio-economic development of Laos.

He also suggested the upcoming inauguration and handover of Vietnam's Nong Khang Airport and Friendship Hospital to Laos in Xiangkhouang Province in May, symbolizing the solidarity and friendly relations between the two parties and governments.

Both Prime Ministers agreed to coordinate and effectively implement high-level agreements and bilateral cooperation mechanisms to strengthen economic ties and support each other's socioeconomic development.

The governments of both countries are determined to remove obstacles and facilitate the implementation of key projects, thereby improving the investment environment.

They are committed to successfully implementing the agreements and outcomes achieved during Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh's official visit to Laos and his co-chairing of the 45th ASEAN-Laos Summit.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh reiterated Vietnam's commitment to providing the highest level of support to Laos to assume the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2024 successfully.

In response, Prime Minister Sonesay reaffirmed Laos' willingness to support Vietnam's candidacy for leadership positions in United Nations agencies and international organizations.

Prime Minister Chinh extended an invitation to the Prime Minister of Laos to visit Vietnam later this year.

 PM Chinh and Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah. 

Vietnam and Brunei expand trade cooperation


During his meeting with the Sultan of Brunei Hassanal Bolkiah, Prime Minister Chinh expressed his pleasure in discussing effective ways to implement the results of his official visit to Brunei in February 2023.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen high-level exchanges and contacts, laying the groundwork for implementing the Action Program of the Vietnam-Brunei Comprehensive Partnership for 2023-2027.

To promote diversified and balanced trade growth, the two sides agreed to expand cooperation in potential areas, focusing on oil and gas, chemicals, halal products, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.

Prime Minister Chinh also urged Brunei to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese goods, including halal agricultural and aquatic products, to gain more access to its market. He also asked Brunei to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in agriculture and fisheries between the two countries, maintain an effective hotline to support fisheries activities and create a favorable environment for Vietnamese enterprises to participate in construction projects and provide technical services in the oil and gas sector in Brunei.

PM Chinh appreciated the Vietnamese language training model at Brunei National University and expressed hope that Brunei would expand this model and strengthen educational cooperation between the two countries.

In response, the Sultan of Brunei highly appreciated the outcomes of the Prime Minister's visit to Brunei, which set the stage for further developing the Vietnam-Brunei comprehensive partnership.

He noted that there is still much potential for cooperation between the two countries, particularly in economy, trade, investment, agriculture, fisheries, energy, education and training, defense, and people-to-people exchanges.

The Sultan suggested it was time for the two sides to set new goals for the growth of bilateral trade.

Both leaders pledged to maintain close consultations and work together to build a united, resilient, and sustainable ASEAN community.

In response, the Sultan of Brunei expressed his gratitude to the Vietnamese leaders and Prime Minister and his desire to visit Vietnam soon.

 PM Chinh and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. 

Upgrading Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement

Both Prime Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the rapid and robust development of their countries' relations. They reaffirmed their commitment to fulfilling the agreements reached during the visit of the Vietnamese Prime Minister to Singapore in February 2023, especially in the areas of economy, trade, and investment.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen mutual understanding and trust by maintaining high-level exchanges and delegations to lay a solid foundation for comprehensive cooperation between the two countries. They also agreed to increase participation in multilateral events and bilateral visits to review and enhance the overall Vietnam-Singapore relationship.

In 2023, the two countries will hold practical activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations (1973-2023) and the 10th anniversary of the strategic partnership (2013-2023).

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has accepted an invitation to visit Vietnam in the second half of 2023 to commemorate these events.

Prime Minister Chinh proposed to his Singaporean counterpart to strengthen the newly established Digital Economy - Green Economy Partnership by setting up an interdisciplinary working group in each country to discuss related issues.

He also said that implementing the Memorandum of Understanding on Digital Economy Cooperation signed in February 2022, and promoting cooperation in emerging areas such as green energy and e-commerce, will contribute to achieving the commitment of net-zero emissions by 2050.

The two leaders agreed to update and upgrade the Vietnam-Singapore Connectivity Framework Agreement and strengthen cooperation in e-commerce.

They welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on the development of smart and sustainable Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIPs) by the VSIP Group, which will involve nine provinces and cities in Vietnam.

Prime Minister Chinh hailed this as a tangible step in implementing the agreements reached during his visit to Singapore in February 2023. He expressed hope that the new generation of VSIPs would stimulate growth in both countries.

In addition to economic cooperation, the two prime ministers recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation in other areas, such as security, defense, education and training, and developing high-quality human resources. They agreed to explore training programs for young Vietnamese cadres and to promote exchanges of senior Communist Party of Vietnam officials with those in Singapore.

In discussing regional and international issues, both leaders underscored the need to strengthen cooperation, maintain solidarity, and promote the pivotal role of ASEAN. They also pledged to support each other's candidacy for international organizations and the United Nations.

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