Enhancing Vietnam's prestige and position in international arena

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation are attending the 12th Summit of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM12) in Brussels, Belgium, and the Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 Summit (P4G) in Copenhagen, Denmark, as well as paying official visits to Austria, Belgium and Denmark and working at the European Union (EU) from October 14-21. This is an important political event which aims to strengthen the relationship between Vietnam and its partners and convey the message of a dynamic Vietnam that is a reliable and responsible partner in the international community, while continuing to improve the prestige and position of Vietnam.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (Photo: VNA)

The ASEM 12 themed " Global partners for global challenges," will work out measures to promote the ASEM role in boosting multilateral cooperation, connecting Asia with Europe, upholding international law, addressing global challenges, and maintaining peace, security, stability, cooperation and development in the world and the two continents.

Over more than twenty years since joining ASEM, Vietnam has been an active and responsible member, participating in significant events in the development path of ASEM. The most prominent contribution of Vietnam was the successful organisation of the fifth ASEM Summit together with five ASEM Ministerial Meetings and the implementation of a number of initiatives in specialised fields of ASEM. So far, Vietnam is considered one of the most active members of the ASEM Forum with 24 initiatives and the co-sponsor of 27 initiatives on practical issues for localities, businesses and the people.

Vietnam is one of the initiators and maintainers of the first ASEM cooperation mechanism on water resources management, called "ASEM Dialogue on Sustainable Development", focusing on sub-regional cooperation among the Mekong and Danube countries, contributing to enhancing the Mekong sub-region cooperation on an inter-regional level.

Leading the Vietnamese delegation to attend ASEM 12, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc is one of the two senior leaders of ASEM to be invited to meet and talk with the Asian and European enterprises in the framework of the 16th Asia-Europe Business Forum. Vietnam is expected to propose two new initiatives on the ASEM conference on promoting inclusive socio-economic development in Asia and Europe and the ASEM seminar on boosting digital economy in the context of the 4.0 industrial revolution, scheduled to take place in Vietnam in 2019.

The P4G was formed based on the Danish Government's initiative to develop public-private partnerships and accelerate the implementation of global sustainable development goals by 2030 through the implementation of green growth and facilitating solutions on a global scale.

The P4G Summit is attended by eight countries, including Denmark (founder), Chile, Mexico, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Ethiopia, Kenya and Colombia, alongside the participation of international organisations. Within the framework of promoting the activities of the P4G forum, Vietnam organised two workshops in September 2018 on “plastic waste and coastal community” and “plastic waste and the necessity of sorting waste” in order to promote law enforcement and effective solutions to reduce plastic waste pollution. Many recommendations of the business community have been recognised by the Government and will be implemented in the future.

On December 1, 1972, Austria was one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam. We are pleased to see the friendly and cooperative relationship between the two countries grow more extensively, effectively and comprehensively, through high-level visits. The two sides have worked closely together and supported each other at multilateral forums such as the United Nations, ASEM, and ASEAN-EU. As the rotating EU presidency in late 2018, Austria supports the strengthening of Vietnam – EU relations.

In 2017, two-way trade turnover between Vietnam and Austria reached more than US$4 billion, making Austria the sixth largest export market of Vietnam in Europe. In the first seven months of 2018, Vietnam's exports to Austria totalled US$2.58 billion, an increase of 47% over the same period in 2017. As of August 2018, Austria had31 valid projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$143.9 million. In 2010 and 2015, the two countries signed a framework agreement on financial cooperation under which the Austrian Government committed to provide EUR250 million to Vietnam.

This year, Vietnam and Belgium celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties. The trust and mutual understanding between the two countries have been further strengthened through the exchanges of high-level delegations and cooperative mechanisms. Although Belgium is a small market, trade volume between Vietnam and Belgium is high due to the transit of Vietnamese goods through Belgium to enter other Western European countries. Belgium is currently the seventh largest export market of Vietnam in the EU. Two-way trade revenue reached nearly US$ 2.7 billion in 2017. By 2017, Belgium had62 valid investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of US$595 million.

The development cooperation between Vietnam and Belgium started in 1977 and Vietnam is the only Asian country to receive development assistance from the Belgian Government. Since 1977, Belgium has provided Vietnam with loans and non-refundable aid of nearly US$300 million (non-refundable aid accounts for 60%). Belgium is interested in establishing a deeper cooperation partnership with Vietnam in the field of agriculture.

Vietnam and the EU officially established diplomatic relations on November 28, 1990. EU-Vietnam relations continue to develop positively with regular exchanges of delegations and meetings. EU is the Vietnam’s third largest trading partner, the second largest export market and the leading foreign investor in Vietnam. As of June, 2017, 24 of the 28 EU countries had invested in Vietnam with 1,975 valid projects worth US$ 21.7 billion. The EU is also the largest non-refundable aid provider for Vietnam. In the period of 1993 - 2013, the total ODA commitment of the EU reached nearly US$14 billion, accounting for 20% of the total commitment of the international donor community to Vietnam, including approximately US$1.5 billion in non-refundable aid. Both sides are actively boosting the signing of the Vietnam - EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) in 2018.

Denmark has been one of the most important partners of Vietnam in Europe for many years. The two countries set up a strategic partnership in the fields of climate change, energy, environment and green growth in November 2011. This year, Vietnam and Denmark mark the 5th anniversary of the establishment of the comprehensive partnership. Economic, trade and investment cooperation between the two countries are growing well with a two-way trade turnover of US$664.6 million in 2017. Denmark was one of the first Nordic countries to invest in Vietnam. Currently, Denmark has 132 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of over US$686 million. Since 1972, Denmark has provided Vietnam with over US$1 billion worth of ODA. In the area of climate change adaptation, Denmark is the largest donor of Vietnam with a grant of up to US$ 40 million for the “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Programme". The Vietnamese community in Denmark consists of approximately15,000 people who have stable and harmonious lives.

The PM’s attendance at the ASEM 12, the P4G and official visits to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and the EU aims to affirm Vietnam’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development and diversify international relations and actively integrate into the world. His trip also intends to strengthen the good relationship between Vietnam and its partner countries, contributing to the building and shaping of multilateral institutions and effective participation in addressing global challenges and enhancing the prestige and position of Vietnam in the international arena.