Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung made the remarks in his interview granted to the press following the conclusion of the PM's trip to China to attend the CIIE 2018.
The diplomat said that PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc led a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to attend the CIIE 2018 from November 4-5 at the invitation of Party General Secretary and President of China Xi Jinping.
The PM's visit marks the first trip to China by a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation since the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (October 2017) and the second trip to China by PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc as the Prime Minister of Vietnam.
During his visit, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc met with senior leaders of the Chinese Party and State, and leaders of ministries and localities, and held talks on Vietnam's priorities for socio-economic development and integration as well as the cooperation between ministries, localities and enterprises of the two countries.
China is currently the largest trading partner of Vietnam while Vietnam is the largest trading partner of China in ASEAN and the eighth largest trading partner of China in the world.
The two-way trade revenue between the two countries reached US$93.7 billion in 2017, up 30.2% compared to 2016 and accounting for one fourth of Vietnam's total import and export revenue. However, Vietnam suffered large trade deficit with China at US$22.8 billion in 2017 and both sides face unsolved problems including smuggling, tax evasion and counterfeit goods regarding cross-border trade.
Deputy FM Trung noted that the PM's trip is of political and economic significance, contributing to strengthening political trust, maintaining positive development of the bilateral ties, promoting the settlement of unsolved problems and expressing the mutual support in the organisation of international forums and events.
The PM's trip aimed to take advantage of the great economic potential and large market of China; promote the positive factors in the trade relations between the two countries, to boost sustainable exports to China while reducing trade deficit; and introduce Vietnamese images to the world.
Deputy FM Trung said that the PM's trip was also an opportunity for senior leaders of both countries to discuss orientations to boost bilateral relations in all areas, including consolidating the mutual political trust and neighbouring friendship, creating a motivation for substantial cooperation in economics and trade, and controlling conflicts and maintaining peace and stability on the sea.
The diplomat noted that Vietnam sent 25 companies with high prestige and export capacity in the areas of agricultural products, seafood, food processing and trade services to attend the expo, alongside more than 3,000 enterprises from 130 countries and territories across the world. Vietnamese firms also signed a number of deals with other firms to export their products.
PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc delivered a strong message of supporting trade and investment liberalisation and highlighting Vietnam's willingness to work with other countries to effectively cope with global challenges, Deputy FM Trung said.
The Vietnamese Government leader also introduced the potential of Vietnam, especially in terms of market, business and investment environment, competitiveness, and innovation, as well as Vietnamese key products such as rice, coffee, fruit, processed products, apparel, and high-tech electronic products.
The senior leader affirmed that Vietnam always creates a favourable and equitable business and investment environment for foreign investors, while also calling on parties to facilitate enterprises by means of increased dialogue and policy-exchange between their governments and enterprises.
The diplomate stated that Vietnam's performance at the expo contributed to fostering the practical cooperation between the two countries in various areas, promoting the exports of Vietnamese commodities and facilitating Vietnamese businesses to seek markets and expand their business.