Advancing and Strengthening Vietnam - China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

10:38:58 AM | 10/3/2023

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s official visit to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and the China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) had significant practical and bilateral implications. The visit further implemented the common understanding of senior leaders of Vietnam and China, especially the Joint Statement of November 2022 during General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to China.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh together with leaders and officials of China and ASEAN countries at the opening ceremony of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (CABIS)

At the invitation of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh recently led the Vietnamese delegation to attend CAEXPO and CABIS in Nanning City, Guangxi Province, China. During his visit, he held talks with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Emphasizing the importance of Vietnam-China relations in each country’s overall foreign policy, Prime Minister Chinh affirmed that the Party and State of Vietnam highly appreciate friendly and stable cooperative relations with China as a strategic choice and top priority in Vietnam’s foreign policy. Premier Li Qiang stated that China always prioritizes relations with Vietnam in its overall neighboring foreign policy. China supports Vietnam in successfully building and developing socialism in accordance with its context and readily works with Vietnam to constantly expand and deepen practical bilateral cooperation. He highly appreciated Vietnam’s active, effective participation, and important contributions at CAEXPO and CABIS events.

The two sides agreed to continue enhancing the common understanding of the two Party General Secretaries on the continued strengthening and deepening of the Vietnam-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, as well as agreements reached during the official visit to China by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (June 2023) and other high-level visits. Accordingly, the two countries jointly fostered high-level and all-level contacts; increased practical cooperation in economy-trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges; maintained coordination and cooperation in multilateral mechanisms and forums; coordinated in the good management of land borders; and ensured effective control of disagreements for maintaining peace and stability at sea.

Prime Minister Chinh emphasized that the two countries need to boost their geographical advantages and mutual complementarity to strengthen practical cooperation in balanced and sustainable fields. He suggested that China speed up market opening for Vietnam’s agricultural and aquatic products, facilitate the early establishment of Vietnam Trade Promotion Offices in Chengdu (Sichuan) and Haikou (Hainan), and coordinate with Vietnam to improve customs clearance and avoid cargo congestion at border gates. He affirmed that Vietnam is ready to facilitate Chinese companies to invest and do business in Vietnam, especially large-scale high-quality projects with modern technologies representative of China’s development level to generate economic benefits and improve people’s livelihoods.

During discussions, both sides agreed to strengthen traffic connections and border gate infrastructure, study cooperation in planning and building railway lines in the northern region of Vietnam, and improve cargo transportation capacity between the two countries and through third countries. They also pledged to speed up tourism cooperation toward pre-COVID-19 levels, coordinate to resolve problems in some cooperation projects in the spirit of “harmonized benefits, shared risks”, and accelerate the implementation of China’s non-refundable aid to Vietnam.

Approving and appreciating Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s cooperation proposals, Chinese Premier Li Qiang asserted that China will continue to open its market for Vietnamese goods, especially high-quality agricultural and aquatic products. China will further expand trade scale and performance by upgrading border gate infrastructure, connecting policies, building smart border gates, and promoting payments in local currencies. He has directed relevant Chinese agencies to actively discuss with Vietnam to boost specific areas of cooperation and jointly build stable supply chains and production chains. He also proposed that the two sides increase people-to-people exchanges and promote communication on their traditional friendship, especially to younger generations. The Chinese Government will encourage its people to travel to Vietnam, support the opening of new flight routes between the two countries, and accelerate the implementation of aid projects for people’s livelihoods, health, and education in Vietnam.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits the Vietnamese pavilion at CAEXPO

Vietnam showcases its largest ASEAN presence at CAEXPO

During his speech at the opening ceremony of the 20th CAEXPO and CABIS, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh emphasized that these events are important and prestigious in economic, trade, and investment cooperation for ASEAN and Chinese firms. After 20 editions, CAEXPO and CABIS have become symbols and leading flags of China-ASEAN economic, trade, and investment cooperation. The past 20 years have witnessed great progress in China-ASEAN relations, with bilateral trade jumping from just US$78.2 billion in 2003 to US$975.6 billion in 2022, making them the largest trading partners and leading investment partners of each other.

To strengthen ASEAN-China economic, trade, and investment cooperation and make good use of CAEXPO and CABIS mechanisms to bring practical benefits to countries in the region, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh proposed:

Strongly promoting balanced and sustainable bilateral trade by striving to make ASEAN China’s first trade partner of US$1,000 billion. This will be achieved by coordinating in building a chain of links from raw material areas to production centers and product consumption systems of each country; further opening the market; fighting protectionism; cooperating in enhancing adaptability to new standards, new tastes, and green products; and fostering cooperation in science, technology, and innovation.

Strongly promoting the strategic connection of both hard and soft infrastructure development by promoting high-quality, harmonious, and mutually beneficial connections between the “Belt and Road” and ASEAN’s perspectives on Indo-Pacific cooperation. This will be achieved by strengthening traffic infrastructure connectivity and multimodal transport, especially railways and roads; spreading and connecting more widely to ASEAN countries as well as through China to bring ASEAN goods to Europe, Central Asia, and other places.

Strengthening people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in culture, tourism, and aviation, striving to restore tourism cooperation to the pre-COVID-19 level promptly; and promoting cooperation in emerging areas, creating new growth drivers such as the green economy, digital economy, circular economy, new materials, and sharing economy.

In this process, ASEAN and Chinese business communities actively learn from each other, tap into opportunities, and help each other grasp opportunities from CAEXPO and CABIS. They translate potential and cooperation opportunities into specific outcomes and products.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh affirmed that Vietnam is an active member contributing to the overall success of 20 CAEXPO and CABIS editions. At this edition, Vietnam’s trade pavilion has the second-largest scale after China. It showcases a wide range of quality products in fields where Vietnam has strengths and is highly complementary to the Chinese market.

Vietnam wishes to continue working with China and ASEAN countries to quickly complete negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement to version 3.0. It also aims to upgrade road and rail transport infrastructure connections and pilot expanding smart border gates. These efforts will better meet the investment, business, trade, culture and tourism needs of the business community and people of each country.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum