4:56:33 PM | 19/8/2015
In the context of globalisation and deeper international integration, Bac Lieu always highly values the roles of foreign affairs in socioeconomic development process. The Department of Foreign Affairs has carried out many key tasks to improve the province's international diplomacy. Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has been granted an interview with Mr Truong Tan Muoi, Director of the Foreign Affairs Department of Bac Lieu province. Han Luong reports.
Could you please introduce some of the remarkable achievements in international diplomacy of Bac Lieu province?
Set up in March 2014, the Foreign Affairs Department of Bac Lieu has given attention to stabilising its operating apparatus and performing functions and tasks assigned by the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Committee. After one year of operation, foreign affairs have been carried out fairly synchronously and helped improve living standards for local people, upgrade infrastructure systems, boost the global image of Bac Lieu, and promote its political, economic and cultural diplomacy with other countries. The Foreign Affairs Department has dispatched three delegations with 69 officials to other nations to survey, study, acquire experience and take part in conferences and seminars. The department has also approved and settled entry records for 68 groups with more than 200 members to arrive in the province to carry out agricultural, health and education projects and programmes. It has also hosted meetings with foreign diplomatic missions and organised courtesy visits for provincial leaders.
Would you be kind enough to tell us about some good programmes the Foreign Affairs Department has carried out over the past year?
The department has enlisted official development assistance (ODA) granted by other countries and international financial institutions for seven ongoing projects in the province. These programmes and projects have importantly contributed to the development of transport, irrigation, water supply and environmental sanitation infrastructure. Foreign funds have supplemented development investment sources, poverty alleviation and economic development.
The mobilisation of non-governmental aid has been actively carried out and achieved initial encouraging results. Particularly, the department proactively contacted the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) to learn and mobilise aid from international non-governmental organisations (INGO). As a result, the province has raised over VND2 billion for building rural bridges, health centres, kindergartens, schools and houses of charity.
Other works like consular assistance, overseas Vietnamese, citizen protection, sovereignty of sea waters and islands and foreign marriage are always given sufficiently attention.
So, would you tell us some of the current difficulties in external affairs?
Apart from the advantages mentioned above, the foreign affairs of the province still face some difficulties because personnel in charge of external relations have poor command of foreign languages and diplomatic knowledge; economic diplomacy has yet to meet new requirements, foreign investment, trade and tourism promotion as well as aid mobilisation from international non-governmental organisations still have low effects.
Could you please talk about international diplomacy programmes and contents to speed up foreign affairs in 2015 and beyond?
According to Decision 68/QD-UBND of the Provincial People’s Committee dated December 25, 2014 on the launch of Action Programme for the execution of the Resolution of the Government and based on conclusions and resolutions of the Provincial Party Committee and the Provincial People’s Council on Socioeconomic Development Planning in 2015, foreign affairs will focus on the following key tasks:
Stepping up external relations; boosting the popularity of the image, potential and advantages of Bac Lieu province to international friends through forums, conferences, seminars and diplomatic contacts in Vietnam and the world and via mass media and websites; accelerating investment, trade and tourism promotion, investment and business support, and export and import market expansion; and promoting business cooperation with foreign partners.
Expanding partnerships with other provinces and cities in the country, forming capital markets and cooperating with other localities to bring regional advantages and potential to full play, flexibly applying State provisions to enact appropriate policies and mechanisms to attract and encourage investment, particularly driving projects.
Mobilising Bac Lieu-originated people in foreign countries to invest and contribute to the homeland; organising annual meetings with overseas Vietnamese returning the fatherland for New Year celebrations; supporting Bac Lieu communities in foreign nations to maintain and promote Vietnamese cultural identities in their residential countries.
Boosting non-governmental aid mobilisation, particularly for much-concerned health, education, rural transport and social security.