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Vietnam, Japan issue joint statement toward opening new era in bilateral extensive strategic partnership

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PM Phạm Minh Chính (left) and his Japanese counterpart Kishida Fumio at their joint press conference. VNA Photo

HÀ NỘI  – Việt Nam and Japan on November 24 issued a joint statement toward the opening of a new era in the bilateral extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asia on the occasion of Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính’s official visit to Japan from November 22-25.

Following is the full text of the joint statement.

At the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan H.E. Kishida Fumio,  H.E. Phạm Minh Chính, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Việt Nam, made an official visit to Japan from the 22nd to the 25th of November 2021. Prime Minister Chính was the first foreign leader to visit following the inauguration of Japan’s new administration. The two sides consented to work closely together to develop their Extensive Strategic Partnership into an increasingly substantive and effective partnership in all areas and to elevate it to new heights. Current cooperation items are summarised in the Fact Sheet.

As the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations is approaching, both sides noted with pleasure the remarkable achievements in relations in all aspects over the past half a century, and expressed confidence at this critical juncture in the bright future of relations for the next semi-centenary.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính conveyed greetings, salutations and invitations from General Secretary of the Communist Party of Việt Nam Nguyễn Phú Trọng, State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, and Chairman of the National Assembly Vương Đình Huệ to Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, and other leaders of Japan to soon visit Việt Nam.

Development of bilateral relations

1. Both sides welcomed the strong, comprehensive and substantial development of bilateral relations in many fields. They confirmed that both countries are important partners for each other and share many common strategic interests. Both sides also confirmed that there remain great potentials for further deepening of their Extensive Strategic Partnership. Both sides consented to continue to work closely with the goal of ensuring regional and international peace, stability and prosperity. Japan expressed recognition of Vietnam’s increasing role and constructive contributions in international and regional issues in addition to confirmation of Việt Nam’s consistent importance in Japan’s foreign policy toward the Indo-Pacific region. Việt Nam acknowledged Japan’s role as an important and longstanding partner and expressed the desire for Japan to continue to play a positive and constructive role in international and regional issues.

2. Frequent, high level bilateral visits and exchanges have strengthened political ties while ever more robust cooperation in economy, trade and investment has contributed to further growth of economic ties. Substantial development has also been made in numerous fields, ranging from security, agriculture, science and technology, education and training, the environment, climate change countermeasures, labor issues, construction, ICT, health, culture, tourism, sports to municipal and people to people exchange. Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính praised Japan’s successful hosting of Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

3. Việt Nam expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan and the Japanese people for the effective support for its socio-economic development and poverty reduction efforts through Official Development Assistance (ODA) during the past thirty years. Việt Nam expressed appreciation for the active role and contribution that Japanese companies have made to the development of its economy and nation building process.

Cooperation in measures against the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19)

4. As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented impacts on the socio-economy of countries around the world including Việt Nam and Japan, the two Prime Ministers consented to work closely together on COVID-19 measures.

5. Prime Minister Kishida announced that the Government of Japan will additionally provide 1.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the Government of Việt Nam. Prime Minister Chính expressed his gratitude and high appreciation to the Government of Japan and the Japanese people for sharing COVID-19 vaccines that will amount to 5.6 million doses in total as well as many medical equipment and materials. Both sides consented to continue to work closely on research and production of COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.

Strengthening political relations, security cooperation

6. Both sides consented to maintain high-level visits, exchanges, dialogues, and exchanges between political parties and parliaments in various forms including at multilateral frameworks. Both sides confirmed that they would improve the effectiveness of existing dialogue and consultation frameworks in various areas.

7. Both sides consented in strengthening cooperation to address non-traditional security issues such as cybersecurity, prevention of cybercrime, terrorism and transnational crimes, and food and natural resource security. They also recognized the importance of resilient, diverse, secure, and transparent supply chain.

8. Both sides, as coastal nations, recognized the importance of maintaining maritime freedom and openness and respecting international law including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the United Nations Charter. They also confirmed to further strengthen cooperation in maritime security including capacity development of the Vietnamese maritime authorities, ocean economic development, and the sustainable development and utilisation of ocean resources.

9. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the various cooperative efforts between the defense authorities of Japan and Việt Nam that have made progress, under the idea of the Japan-Vietnam bilateral defense cooperation at a new period for peace and stability of the region and the international community. Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan will provide cooperation including dispatching Japanese experts comprising mainly of Japan Ground Self-Defense Force’s personnel to Việt Nam to assist Vietnamese preparation to participate in peacekeeping operations, Prime Minister Chính welcomed this. Both sides welcomed that both defense authorities will accelerate consultations for the transfer of specific equipment including naval vessels and related equipment in light of the Agreement concerning the Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology. Both Prime Ministers also welcomed that the defense authorities of Japan and Việt Nam will promote cooperation in the fields of cybersecurity and military medicine.

Cooperation for post COVID-19 economic revitalization

10. Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan will continue to contribute to Việt Nam’s socio-economic development. Prime Minister Chính praised Prime Minister Kishida’s new economic strategy for a virtuous cycle of growth and distribution and expressed confidence that the strategy would lead Japan to a new and stable stage of development. Japan highly appreciated Việt Nam’s strategic orientations and directions as reflected in its 10-year Socio-economic Development Strategy for 2021-2030.

11. The two Prime Ministers consented to further facilitate business collaborations between Japanese and Vietnamese companies as well as improving the investment environment for companies through cooperation in such areas as digital transformation, diversification of the production base and development of supporting industries towards resilient global supply chains, including of both countries, which are keys for post COVID-19 economic revitalization. Both sides will continue cooperating in industrial development, and will consider expanding the scope of cooperation in training and consultation on kaizen, business matching, and capacity building for Vietnamese manufacturers to enable them to join Japanese companies’ supply chain in Việt Nam, in the region and the world.

12. The two Prime Ministers shared their perceptions of digital transformation and the development of the digital economy as digital societies will play an important role in the post COVID-19 era. They consented to strengthen cooperation in creative innovation, ICT, digital transformation, digital economy, realization of smart cities through project formation studies etc, the development of broadband infrastructure including 5G, and information security. In this context, they recognized that technology ecosystems built upon trust, integrity, and resilience will foster innovation and make the lives of citizens more secure, prosperous, and rewarding, in addition to addressing some of the world’s greatest shared challenges, such as equitable growth, climate change, energy security, and pandemic diseases.

13. The two Prime Ministers highly value the active role and contribution of Japan’s ODA, and shared the intention to continuously implement development cooperation between the two countries in an effective and smooth manner to ensure their interests and meeting the needs of Việt Nam. The two Prime Ministers consented to work together to increase direct investment from Japan to Việt Nam. Prime Minister Chính welcomed Japanese companies to choose Việt Nam as an investment destination and reaffirmed Việt Nam’s commitment to create an open and transparent investment environment and create a favorable environment for companies to conduct businesses. The two Prime Ministers consented to continue to work closely together to resolve difficulties in implementing Japan’s ODA projects in Việt Nam and to promote regional connectivity as well as priority infrastructure projects such as Việt Nam’s railroads, airports, ports and highways, which contribute to the development of industrial infrastructure. The two Prime Ministers consented to actively promote post COVID-19 recovery ODA programs which address emerging needs and interest of the two countries and match the great potentials of their Extensive Strategic Partnership toward the future, with focus on notably the four fields: transport infrastructure, climate change infrastructure, healthcare and digital transformation for post COVID-19 economic recovery, taking into account the importance of concessionality, simple procedures and flexibility in implementation, and instructed relevant authorities of both countries to launch intensive discussion on the programmes.

14. The two Prime Ministers confirmed that Việt Nam and Japan will promote tourism cooperation, facilitate travel, so that tourism statistics can soon restore to 1.5 million which is the same level as before the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible, and increase tourism exchanges even more than before. They also confirmed to continue discussions for early mutual recognition of vaccination certificate between the two countries.

Cooperation in human resource development

15. The two Prime Ministers confirmed to make their efforts in the cooperation for Việt Nam’s administrative reforms, the development of high quality human resources, and the promotion of training opportunities for high-level officials and executives of the Party and government. The two Prime Ministers consented to strengthen cooperation on addressing issues regarding Vietnamese technical intern trainees and students who are playing important roles for the Japanese economy and society. Being aware of the need to improve their living environment, conditions and social security, the two Prime Ministers instructed relevant authorities to work together in both countries to tackle the issues.

Cooperation on sustainable development, climate change measures and agriculture

16. The two Prime Ministers took note of the importance of maintaining cooperation in environmental protection for sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and green transformation. Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their determination to implementing global agreements and commitments on sustainable development such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. Prime Minister Kishida welcomed Vietnam’s carbon neutral target by 2050, as announced recently by Prime Minister Chính at the World Leaders Summit at COP 26, as being compatible with the 1.5 Celsius degree goal of the Paris Agreement. The two Prime Ministers consented to strengthen cooperation in green transformation, emission reductions and climate resilience, the environment and climate change measures to achieve the above commitments.

17. Both leaders reaffirmed to work closely to continue the effective implementation of the “Medium-to Long-Term Vision for Japan-Việt Nam Agricultural Cooperation”, and to promote high quality agriculture cooperation, including investment attraction, and the transfer of technology and know-how in this field.

Cooperation on energy transitions

18. The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of simultaneously achieving both sustainable economic growth and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as various pathways for realistic transitions depending on the circumstances of each country and constant innovation in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Prime Minister Kishida announced that Japan would provide comprehensive support for energy transitions in Việt Nam through “Asia Energy Transition Initiative (AETI)” including the formulation of roadmaps and Prime Minister Chính welcomed this.

Cooperation for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Việt Nam

19. The two Prime Ministers shared the recognition of the importance of holding projects suitable for their relationship in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Việt Nam in 2023. Both Prime Ministers confirmed that both countries would work closely together to successfully carry out projects to further promote friendship, mutual understanding and exchange of peoples between the two countries in various fields.

Regional and international issues

20. Prime Minister Kishida congratulated Việt Nam on its successful role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term 2020-2021 and ASEAN Chair in 2020. Prime Minister Kishida also expressed gratitude for the close cooperation provided by Việt Nam as ASEAN coordinator for Japan in the 2018-2021 term. Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening wide-ranging cooperation in regional and international conferences, including the UN, APEC, ASEM, EAS, ASEAN 3, Japan-ASEAN Summit, ARF, and ADMM-Plus, and to proactively and constructively contribute to the maintenance of regional and global peace, stability, cooperation and development.

21. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN unity and centrality, and their close cooperation for the steady and effective implementation of the revised implementation plan of the Vision Statement on Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation as well as the Joint Statement of the 23rd ASEAN-Japan Summit on Cooperation on ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific. The two Prime Ministers recognized the importance of strengthening cooperation to address the unprecedented challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the region and the world, and shared the intention to cooperate in promoting Japan-ASEAN cooperation in COVID-19 countermeasures and post COVID-19 economic revitalization. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the outstanding achievements of ASEAN-Japan cooperation over the years and looked forward to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation with a series of commemorative events in the year 2023. They also shared the view that a special summit that Japan would host in 2023 would be a historic opportunity to bring ASEAN-Japan partnership to a new level.

22. The two Prime Ministers expressed their pleasure at the steady progress of Japan-Mekong cooperation. Prime Minister Chính expressed his gratitude to Japan for its long-standing contribution to the development of the Mekong region. The two Prime Ministers consented to strengthen cooperation to improve the efficiency and role of future Japan-Mekong cooperation. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of sustainable management and development of the Mekong River and shared the intention to promote close cooperation between the Japan-Mekong framework and the Mekong regional organizations, especially the International Mekong River Commission.

23. The two Prime Ministers consented to further promote free trade, and welcomed the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement on January 1, 2022. Both Prime Ministers reiterated the need for coordinating with Parties to ensure the full implementation of the Agreement. Both Prime Ministers consented on the importance of working together with the other members to uphold the high standards of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

24. The two Prime Ministers expressed serious concerns about the situation in the South China Sea and any unilateral attempts to change the status quo and increase tensions. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of sustaining peace, security, safety, freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea, self-restraint, and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The two Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of urging countries concerned to avoid unilateral actions that would militarise, change the status quo or complicate the situation in the South China Sea. The two Prime Ministers stressed the importance of full and effective implementation of the South China Sea Declaration of Conduct (DOC), took note of the progress of the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC) negotiations and emphasized the importance of an effective and substantive COC that is consistent with the 1982 UNCLOS.

25. Prime Minister Kishida explained Japan’s efforts to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific. The two Prime Ministers emphasized the importance of free and open order based on the rule of law, where international law including the Charter of the United Nations, the independence of nations, and sovereignty are respected, in achieving stability, cooperation and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and the world. The two Prime Ministers welcomed their contributions and initiatives for that goal. Prime Minister Kishida reaffirmed that Việt Nam and ASEAN are important partners for Japan and Japan’s willingness to support and cooperate with Việt Nam and ASEAN, including for the AOIP, under the principle of ASEAN centrality.

26. The two Prime Ministers exchanged views and expressed concern over the recent situation in the Korean Peninsula including the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s recent missile launches, which are not conducive to the peace and security of the region. In this regard, both Prime Ministers confirmed the importance of international cooperation and the full implementation of UN Security Council resolutions, and the urgency for all parties concerned to continue efforts to pursue peaceful and diplomatic solutions of the issues including dismantlement of all weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles of all ranges in accordance with UNSCRs, for regional and global peace, security, stability, cooperation and prosperity. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening cooperation for the immediate resolution of the abductions issue.

27. Prime Minister Kishida supported ASEAN’s efforts such as the implementation of the Five Point Consensus to address the situation in Myanmar, and emphasized the importance of constructive response by Myanmar. Prime Minister Chính expressed his gratitude to Japan for its support for ASEAN on the situation in Myanmar including humanitarian assistance. The two Prime Ministers confirmed that they would further cooperate on the situation in Myanmar.

28. Prime Minister Chính confirmed Việt Nam’s support for Japan’s candidature for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council in the term 2023-2024. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the importance of UN Security Council reform. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his gratitude to Việt Nam for its support for the UN Security Council reform, including Japan becoming a permanent member.

29. The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to realizing a world without nuclear weapons. They shared their views that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, and that the two countries continue to work closely to achieve a successful outcome at the 10th NPT Review Conference. In this respect, Prime Minister Chính reiterated Vietnam’s strong support for Japan’s initiative to submit “Joint courses of action and future-oriented dialogue towards a world without nuclear weapons” adopted at the First Committee of the UN General Assembly on October 27, 2021. Prime Minister Kishida expressed his appreciation to Việt Nam’s support.

Prime Minister Chính expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the respectful and warm welcome from Prime Minister Kishida to this high-level delegation to Japan. Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính extended invitation for Prime Minister Kishida to visit Việt Nam at the earliest possible opportunity and Prime Minister Kishida appreciated this kind invitation.

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/1085519/vietnam-japan-issue-joint-statement-toward-opening-new-era-in-bilateral-extensive-strategic-partnership.html

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Government backs Samsung’s long-term business strategy in Việt Nam: Deputy PM

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Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái (right) in talks with Director-General of Samsung Việt Nam Complex Choi Joo-ho. — VNA/ Photo Minh Đức

HÀ NỘI — Deputy Prime Minister Lê Minh Khái has confirmed that the Government backs Samsung’s long-term business strategy in Việt Nam, during a reception for business executives attended by Director-General of Samsung Việt Nam Complex Choi Joo-ho in Hà Nội on Monday.

Informing his guests that he is to visit the Republic of Korea within the framework of the bilateral dialogue mechanism on economic cooperation at the deputy prime ministerial level, Khái said that during the visit, he and his RoK counterpart will evaluate the outcome of the economic partnership between the two countries since their previous dialogue in 2019.

Samsung is a big investor in Việt Nam and the Vietnamese Government wants to listen to its opinions in order to discuss with the RoK side how to create more favourable conditions for the firm to operate effectively, the Deputy PM said.

Choi Joo-ho told the host that currently, Samsung has six production factories, one research centre and one sales entity in Việt Nam.

Apart from mobile phone and household appliance products, Samsung also manufactures parts for televisions and telephones, he said. The firm currently employs 110,000 people in Việt Nam. According to Choi, so far, Samsung has disbursed 100 per cent of its registered capital of US$17.7 billion in Việt Nam.

He said that during the fourth wave of COVID-19 in Việt Nam, the firm received great support from Vietnamese localities, adding that its factories in the north resumed production in August and those in the south have operated stably since November.

Last year, Samsung’s revenue reached $56.7 billion. This figure is expected to rise 15 per cent this year, he said.

The executive thanked the Vietnamese Government for assisting the firm over the years, expressing hope that Việt Nam will continue to maintain safe and flexible adaptation to the pandemic to ensure that production is not interrupted.

Choi gave some proposals regarding the global minimum corporate tax in line with the regulations of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Deputy PM Khái pledged that Việt Nam will work to access more vaccine sources to enable businesses to operate safely in the new normal situation, while urging enterprises, including Samsung, to continue to coordinate with local government to effectively control the pandemic for long-term operations.

He lauded Samsung’s investment in a $220-million research and development centre in Việt Nam, which is scheduled for completion in 2022, affirming that the Vietnamese Government supports the firm’s long-term business strategy in Việt Nam. He asked Samsung to report its difficulties to the Vietnamese authorised agency for timely solutions.

Stressing Việt Nam’s determination to deliver on its commitments to businesses, Deputy PM Khái said that Việt Nam wants to listen to feedback from the business community in response to changes in policies. —

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/1094304/government-backs-samsungs-long-term-business-strategy-in-viet-nam-deputy-pm.html

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NA Chairman: fiscal policy plays leading role in harmonization with monetary policy

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National Assembly Chair Vuong Dinh Hue has asked commercial banks to share difficulties with businesses, stressing that such support will also help themselves and that banks cannot have profits without businesses.

NA Chairman: fiscal policy plays leading role in harmonization with monetary policy

National Assembly Chair Vuong Dinh Hue

The Vietnam Economic Forum, with nearly 200 delegates, including four Politburo members, the Secretary of the Central Party Committee, 20 members of the Party Central Committee, 25 ministries and heads of industries, and nine ambassadors and charge d’affaires closed on December 5.

Twenty presidents and CEOs of large corporations also attended the meeting.

Emphasizing that the Covid-19 pandemic was ‘unexpected, unprecedented and unpredictable’, Hue agreed with economists that in such a special context there should be special solutions. The bailout for economic recovery needs to support both aggregate supply and demand, with priority given to supply.

It’s necessary to implement both fiscal and monetary policies in a flexible and harmonious way, with a reasonable roadmap, wide coverage and a reasonable amount. The time for implementation is 2022-2023 and at most the first months of 2024.

The targets must be feasible and timely so as to satisfy businesses and people’s demands.

“It’s very difficult and time consuming to maintain macro stability, and it’s very easy to quickly lose stability,” Hue said.

He agreed with economists that Vietnam could accept overexpenditures and public debt increases in the short term in exchange for economic recovery, but it must ensure national financial security in the long term, especially debt payment capability.

The management and allocation of resources needs to be transparent and public to prevent wrongdoings and conflicts related to interest groups. To do so, there must be a mechanism to supervise and inspect implementation in different ways.

Stressing that the socio-economic crisis is due to Covid-19, Hue pointed out that medical solutions will be the decisive and primary factors, while fiscal policy will play the leading role, implemented in harmonization with monetary policy.

He said that helping businesses and people overcome difficulties will help nurture sources of revenue for the state budget and the banking system.

“It’s not granting of favors here. By supporting businesses, commercial banks will support themselves. They cannot have profits without businesses,” he said.

Stand on your own feet

Replying to the warning that Vietnam may repeat the mistakes it made in 2008 when it launched an interest rate subsidy package, Hue said the package at that time did not have specific targets, which was a problem.

“We must not avoid the difficult and do the easy. There should be an interest rate subsidy package,” Hue said, adding that it would be better to focus on important fields, businesses, cooperatives and business households that can pay debts or recover.

It’s also necessary to give financial support to upgrading of old apartments. Hanoi, for example, has thousands of apartment buildings that need upgrading, HCMC has 600, and Hai Phong also has such buildings.

“We will obtain a high growth rate if these bottlenecks are removed,” he said.

The National Assembly Chair said that social housing projects are seriously needed, especially for low income workers, and the state should continue to divest from enterprises as parts of the economic recovery program.

Hue agreed with the opinion that businesses need reasonable regulation, not money, emphasizing that institutional improvement is the most important factor in the economic recovery program.

He said the important message of the forum is to have self-reliance, self-improvement, and ability to stand on one’s feet, as well as better national and corporate governance.

At the same time, Vietnamese need to be optimistic, turn risks into opportunities and seek opportunities in challenges.

“The consistent message is that we need to go together. There’s a saying that if you want to go far, go together with your friends,” Hue said. 

Thu Hang

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/feature/na-chair-fiscal-policy-plays-leading-role-in-harmonization-with-monetary-policy-798892.html

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Vietnamese, Lao top legislators want parliamentary ties to become ‘exemplary model’ in region, world

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Vietnamese National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ and spouse (left) welcome his Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane and spouse to Hà Nội, Việt Nam, on Monday. — VNA/ Photo Doãn Tấn

HÀ NỘI — Chairman of Việt Nam National Assembly (NA) Vương Đình Huệ and Lao counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane on Monday in Hà Nội discussed various aspects of bilateral cooperation, as the latter is on a three-day official visit to Việt Nam.

This is the first high-level international delegation to visit Việt Nam’s NA in nearly two years due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of the leadership of the parliament, NA Chair Huệ warmly welcomed Lao NA Chair Saysomphone’s visit to Việt Nam, expressing appreciation for the fact that the Lao legislator chose Việt Nam as the first country to visit in his new capacity.

The visit is an important milestone, contributing to the consolidation and promotion of great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two Parties, States and peoples in general, and between the National Assembly of the two countries.

NA Chair Huệ reaffirmed the Party and State’s consistent policy to attach great importance to and give the highest priority to preserving and promoting the close, unique and special relationship between Việt Nam and Laos, and that Việt Nam always wholeheartedly, strongly and comprehensively supported Lao’s reforms, nation-building and defence.

For his part, the top Lao legislator thanked Việt Nam for its COVID-19 support, with donations of medical supplies worth US$6.3 million since the beginning of the pandemic.

He acknowledged the socio-economic development aid, totalling VNĐ930 billion ($40.26 million), that Việt Nam provided for Laos in 2020, when Việt Nam itself was facing numerous challenges.

The Lao NA Chair also expressed gratitude for the Lao NA building that Việt Nam financed and constructed as a gift for the Lao Party, State, and people, stressing that Laos will make full use of the building to make it truly stand out as a vivid demonstration of the special friendship and solidarity between the two countries.

During the talks, the two parliament chairs concurred in the assessment that political-diplomatic relations in all channels between Việt Nam and Laos have been increasingly tightened.

In particular, the two sides have coordinated to successfully organise two official friendship visits by General Secretary and President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith to Việt Nam in June this year, and later, a visit from Vietnamese State President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc to Laos in August, which both have yielded many important and substantive results, creating more impetus for comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

Cooperation in the fields of security-defence, trade and investment, energy, transport connection, education and training, COVID-19 fight cooperation, and cooperation between localities and people-to-people exchanges have been given proper attention, the two leaders agreed.

The Lao NA Chair noted with appreciation how even with COVID-19, the two-way trade this year hit $948 million so far, up 28 per cent compared to the same period last year, while Việt Nam is currently the third biggest investor in Laos out of 54 countries and territories, with 409 projects and capital totalling $1.9 billion.

The two NA leaders said bilateral parliamentary cooperation is flourishing, with the two NAs effectively carrying out the 2017 agreement with many diverse cooperation activities including high-level delegation visits, thematic discussions and experience sharing conferences, support for each other in capacity building for legislators and NA staff, as well as infrastructure and IT capacity.

The two chairs have discussed in detail the cooperation results of the two National Assemblies and covered orientations of cooperation for the future.

On that basis, the two Presidents agreed to consider amending and supplementing the cooperation agreement between the two countries’ NAs, focusing on a number of important items such as close coordination in supervision and facilitating the effective implementation of high-level agreements between the two countries, especially the key tasks in the Việt Nam-Laos cooperation strategy for the 2021-30 period, Việt Nam-Laos cooperation agreement for the 2021-25 period, and other agreements.

The two want to make Việt Nam-Laos parliamentary ties an exemplary model in the region and in the world.

NA Chairs Huệ and Saysomphone agreed to strengthen exchanges between the two women parliamentarians and young parliamentarians, in tandem with seminars on implementing the role of the legislative body and conferences on the rich tradition of special relations between the two countries to help the younger generations understand the history and inherit this “great asset”.

Further exchanges, especially between people’s councils of provinces and centrally-run cities, including neighbouring localities, should be encouraged, the two top legislators noted.

The two chairs agreed that Việt Nam and Laos should continue to promote the trilateral parliamentary cooperation mechanism of Việt Nam – Laos – Cambodia.

The two also agreed that they would propose to the Cambodian National Assembly and Senate to consider, when necessary, holding meetings involving the three countries’ parliament leaders in order to promote and improve the effectiveness of the Việt Nam – Laos tripartite cooperation mechanism.

NA Chair Huệ also wants the two parliaments to hold events commemorating the 60th anniversary of Việt Nam-Laos bilateral diplomatic relations (September 5, 1962) and 45th anniversary of Việt Nam-Laos Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation (signed in July 1977) in 2022.

On this occasion, the two NA Chairmen witnessed the handover ceremony of medical supplies worth $1 million by the Vietnamese NA to support Laos in COVID-19 prevention and control, including 2.1 million medical-grade masks, 100,000 COVID-19 test kits, along with protective gear, sanitisers, body temperature scanners and $100,000 in cash. —

Top Vietnamese and Lao legislators witnessed the handover ceremony of medical supplies donated from Việt Nam to Laos. — VNA/ Photo Doãn Tấn

Source: https://vietnamnews.vn/politics-laws/1094196/vietnamese-lao-top-legislators-want-parliamentary-ties-to-become-exemplary-model-in-region-world.html

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