Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s trip to China to attend the first China International Import Expo (CIIE) will help enhance Vietnam-China relations and drive economic and trade ties between the two countries forward, Deputy Foreign Minister Le Hoai Trung has said.
He made the statement following the PM’s tour from November 4-5 for one of China’s most important diplomatic events in 2018, through which the country wants to extend its message of open markets to the world.
While in China, PM Phuc met with party and state leaders and officials of ministries, agencies and localities of China to talk about Vietnam’s priorities in development and international integration, as well as cooperation between the two countries, Trung said.
The host country is the world’s second biggest economy and the biggest manufacturer and exporter, he said, adding it is also the leading trade partner of 128 countries and contributes about 30 percent to global GDP.
China is now Vietnam’s biggest trade partner while Vietnam is China’s largest trade partner in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the eighth largest worldwide.
In 2017, two-way trade reached 93.7 billion USD, up 30.2 percent year-on-year, making up about a quarter of Vietnam’s total export-import value.
|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the expo. (Photo: VNA)
China is the biggest importer of Vietnam’s farm produce and seafood, he said, citing Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery export revenue to China at 29.6 billion USD in the first nine months of this year, a year-on-year rise of 10 percent.
However, the deputy minister stressed, there remain limitations in bilateral economic and trade ties, such as Vietnam’s high trade deficit at 22.8 billion USD in 2017, along with smuggling, tax evasion and low-quality products.
Given this, the PM’s trip aims to take advantage of China’s economic potential and big market, boost exports to the country, improve the efficiency of economic and trade collaboration and reduce the trade deficit.
Additionally, it is expected to help attract international investment and promote Vietnam’s economy, investment and tourism, Trung noted.
Apart from economic significance, the tour has contributed to enhancing political trust and friendship between Vietnam and China.
During the event, leaders of the two countries discussed plans to step up bilateral cooperation across fields, the deputy minister said.
At the meeting with Mayor of Shanghai Ying Yong, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested the city expand its cooperation with Vietnamese ministries, sectors and localities.
For his part, Ying Yong stated that Shanghai attaches importance to boosting collaboration with Vietnam, and to working with Vietnamese ministries, sectors and localities in implementing deals reached by high-ranking leaders.
He stressed the necessity of increasing delegation exchanges and reinforcing joint work to boost the Vietnam – China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.
The trip has generated a driving force for cooperation between the two countries, particularly in economy and trade.
General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and State President Xi Jinping agreed with PM Phuc’s proposals and affirmed China will devise policies and measures to boost bilateral trade toward stable growth, help Vietnam ease the trade deficit and facilitate the expansion of markets and of cooperation and distribution channels for Vietnamese goods, particularly farm produce favoured by Chinese consumers like fruit, fishery products, pork and milk.
Shanghai Mayor Ying Yong has pledged to support and offer incentives for Vietnamese firms taking part in China’s international import expositions in Shanghai so that key Vietnamese goods like agro-forestry-fishery products will be available in larger amounts in the city and beyond, Deputy FM Trung said.
Chinese enterprises praised improvements in Vietnam’s business climate in recent times. They said they want to expand investment in the country’s high-tech and sustainable sectors.
During the tour, leaders of both sides agreed to better control differences and maintain peace and stability at sea.
PM Phuc lauded outcomes achieved through negotiations and cooperation in less sensitive marine matters between the two countries as well as initial progress in ASEAN – China negotiations for the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
He requested Vietnam and China respect the interests of each other, realise the common perceptions of their high-ranking leaders and the agreement on the basic principles guiding the settlement of sea-related issues between Vietnam and China, and solve disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to maintain peace and stability in the East Sea and the region.
On the participation of Vietnam at the first CIIE in Shanghai, Trung said the country was chosen as a guest of honour.
According to him, Vietnam sent 25 enterprises to the expo specialised in the areas of farm produce, fishery products, food processing and trade services. The Vietnamese space attracted many visitors and transactions, while various contracts were signed.
Speaking at the fair’s opening ceremony, PM Phuc sent a strong message of Vietnam’s support toward the liberation and facilitation of trade and investment, as well a and its willingness to work with other countries in tackling global challenges.
The Government leader introduced Vietnam’s cooperation potential, particularly in terms of market, business climate, competitiveness and innovation. He also mentioned the country’s key products like rice, coffee, fruit, apparel and high-tech electronic devices, among others.
He stated Vietnam always creates a fair environment for foreign investors, highlighting the importance of increasing dialogues between the Government and businesses, and of effectively applying administrative reform measures, particularly in customs and quarantine procedures.
Vietnam’s performance at the expo has contributed to boosting Vietnam – China cooperation across spheres, especially economy – trade, promoting the national image, trademarks and products, propelling the export of Vietnamese key products like agro-forestry-fishery goods and processed food to China and other countries worldwide, and helping Vietnamese firms seek new markets and expand their businesses, Trung stressed.VNA