Strengthening Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

10:06:07 AM | 6/11/2024

Son La province's external information has been deployed synchronously and comprehensively in all fields in the past years to propagandize and promote local potential, strengths and images to international friends and support successful achievement of political and socioeconomic development tasks. Our reporter has an interview on this issue with Mr. Nguyen Van Chien, Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Son La province.

As a specialist advisor and authority of foreign affairs affiliated with the Provincial People’s Committee, could you present the current state of the province’s foreign affairs?

Carrying out Party and State policies on international integration, Son La province, from the friendly and cooperative relationship with only one Lao province, has now established comprehensive, friendly and cooperative relations with nine out of 18 Lao provinces and cities, and cooperative ties with 20 diplomatic representative agencies in Vietnam. Thirty-one foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have funded projects in Son La. The province has received 38 new NGO programs, projects and aids worth US$18,046,751 in total. Such programs and projects have made important and practical contributions to local socioeconomic development and supported livelihood improvement programs for local people.

To date, Son La has exported and introduced more than 17 agricultural products to 21 countries and territories. In 2023, the value of exported goods was US$186.6 million, of which agricultural products accounted for US$177.6 million, up 8.8% year on year. Main exports included coffee, tea, cassava, longan, banana, mango and passion fruit.

The province’s cooperative ties with localities, regions and partners of countries have been increasingly centralized, directed by provincial leaders, to strengthen and expand international cooperation, exploit potential strengths and actively support the cause of provincial socioeconomic construction and development.

What are the goals and priority areas that the Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs will focus on developing in the coming time?

In the current context of globalization, international integration and trade liberalization, the Department of Foreign Affairs has advised the Provincial People's Committee to direct and shape five centralized contents in the coming time, as follows:

First, consistently, effectively and comprehensively implementing the foreign policy and international integration policy adopted by the 13th National Party Congress, including Resolution 34-NQ/TW dated January 9, 2023 of the Politburo on major orientations and policies for execution of the foreign policy of the 13th National Party Congress, directives and conclusions on foreign affairs of the Politburo and the Party Secretariat and minutes of cooperation agreements with Lao provinces, projects on relationship development with key and important partners; contributing to the successful implementation of the Socioeconomic Development Strategy in the 2021 - 2030 period and the Socioeconomic Development Plan in the 2021 -2025 period of the central government and the Resolution on Son La Socioeconomic Development Plan in the 2021 - 2025 period.

Second, raising awareness of the importance of foreign affairs and international integration, promoting international integration coupled with effective implementation of socioeconomic development guidelines and policies of the province, attracting more resources for sustainable development.

Third, speeding up the comprehensive, effective and substantive implementation of economic diplomacy according to priorities in the Government's Action Program for execution of Directive 15-CT/TW of the Party Secretariat on economic diplomacy dated August 10, 2022 to serve national development until 2030 and Plan 132-KH/TU dated October 11, 2022 of the Standing Board of the Provincial Party Committee on fulfillment of Directive 15-CT/TW.

Accordingly, based on potential strengths and development needs of the province, relevant agencies and localities will actively advise, propose and concretize areas of cooperation and make effective use of opportunities from cooperation frameworks with domestic and foreign partners; actively participate more deeply in regional and global supply chains to create new development space; strengthen and expand cooperation with potential markets; focus on cooperation in areas of strategic interest such as infrastructure development, semiconductor, hydrogen, renewable energy, biotechnology, high-tech agriculture, high-quality human resource training and response to climate change; and promote advanced technology, high quality FDI, new generation ODA and green finance.

Fourth, strengthening working coordination between relevant agencies and localities of Son La province with agencies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic representative agencies of Vietnam in foreign countries, and other relevant bodies; coordinating to build and update local strategic orientations, promptly access information on international cooperation opportunities in economics, trade, investment, science - technology and high-tech agriculture.

Fifth, fostering foreign language training and improving professional qualifications and knowledge of international law and international economics for foreign affairs officers in the province; protecting Vietnam's legitimate rights and interests in accordance with international law, practically contributing to maintaining an international environment of peace, stability and development.

Thank you so much!

By Thanh Loan (Vietnam Business Forum)