Vietnam News Today (Dec. 5): Vietnam Values Strategic Partnership With Malaysia

Vietnam News Today (Dec. 5): Vietnam ready to assist Laos in successfully assuming ASEAN and AIPA chairmanship; Vietnam values strategic partnership with Malaysia; HCM City, Saint Petersburg boost cooperation across multiple fields; NA Chairman visits former Lao leaders.
December 05, 2023 | 09:11

Vietnam News Today (Dec. 5) notable headlines

Vietnam ready to assist Laos in successfully assuming ASEAN and AIPA chairmanship

Vietnam values strategic partnership with Malaysia

HCM City, Saint Petersburg boost cooperation across multiple fields

NA Chairman visits former Lao leaders

High tech brings Vietnam’s farm produce to the world

Vietnam – top partner of Turkey, UAE in ASEAN: Deputy Foreign Minister

HCM City hopes to contribute to advancing Vietnam-Indonesia relations

Da Nang aspires to collaborate with Malaysia in high-quality workforce training

HCM City, northwestern provinces promote tourism development collaboration

Lao NA Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihane (R) welcomes his Vietnamese counterpart Vuong Dinh Hue.
Lao NA Chairman Saysomphone Phomvihane (R) welcomes his Vietnamese counterpart Vuong Dinh Hue.

Vietnam ready to assist Laos in successfully assuming ASEAN and AIPA chairmanship

The Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) is ready to provide maximum support for Laos in order to successfully take on the role of chairmanship of ASEAN and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in 2024.

This affirmation was made by NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue during talks with his Laotian counterpart Saysomphone Phomvihane following a welcome ceremony held for the Vietnamese top legislator on December 4 in Vientiane.

The top Laotian legislator expressed his pleasure at welcoming the visit by the Vietnamese NA leader and his delegation to attend the first Cambodia - Laos - Vietnam. (CLV) Parliamentary Summit and extended congratulations on the success of the freshly concluded sixth session of the 15th legislature.

He also respectfully sent his warm regards to Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, State President Vo Van Thuong, and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

At the talks, the two sides informed each other about the situation of their respective nations, the co-operative relationship between the two countries in recent times, and shared several results of the sixth session of the 15th Lao National Assembly and the 15th Vietnamese legislature.

The Laotian NA leader hailed the Vietnamese side’s great and comprehensive achievements in boosting economic development whilst maintaining political and social stability amid both the world and regional situation facing many complex developments.

The Laotian NA has just successfully held its sixth session, with this event featuring the adoption of a number of plans on economic recovery and development aiming to deal with social issues. Laos has gradually resolved economic difficulties and brought inflation under control, he told his guest.

In response, NA Chairman Hue extended regards from Vietnamese senior leaders to their Laotian counterparts and congratulated the neighboring country on important achievements recorded in socio-economic development and the success of the sixth session of the ninth Lao legislature.

The top Vietnamese legislator highly appreciated the thorough preparation made by the host country in the organization of the first CLV Parliamentary Summit taking place from December 5 to December 6, along with other sideline activities. He applauded the chairmanship of Laos, while stating that this is also a good experience for the nation as it gears up to organize the next CLV Summit.

NA Chairman Hue expressed his confidence that, under the leadership of the Laotian People's Revolutionary Party, the Government's administration, the NA’s companionship and supervision, and the efforts of people and businesses, Laos will record many new and greater achievements, successfully carry out measures for economic recovery measures, as well as the Resolution of the 11th Party Congress and plan for socio-economic development.

​He affirmed that the nation always gives top priority to the great traditional relationship between the two countries, always standing united and wholeheartedly supporting the neighboring nation’s national protection, construction, innovation, and development process.

The two top legislators expressed their joy and appreciation at the positive results recorded in bilateral co-operation, especially between the two legislative bodies, cited VOV.

The two sides have continued to regularly maintain high-level visits, meetings, and co-operation mechanisms on all channels, including many exchange and collaboration activities between the two countries' legislatures, they said.

They have closely coordinated to create a favorable legal corridor for the two governments to implement signed agreements, strengthen ties in monitoring the implementation of bilateral joint agreements, and accelerate the implementation of projects between the two countries.

NA Chairman Hue emphasized that the two law-making bodies need to build institutions and laws together to create breakthroughs in bilateral economic and trade links.

The two leaders displayed their delight at the prospect of the two countries recently opening a direct Ho Chi Minh City-Vientiane air route with four flights per week set to start in early 2024.

Regarding orientations for future cooperation, the two sides agreed to continue strengthening ties between the two NAs through sharing legislative experience, building and fine-tuning institutions and legal systems, along with boosting linkages in monitoring the effective implementation of signed high-level agreements.

Both sides agreed to prepare good content for important bilateral activities between the two nations’ senior leaders; reinforce solidarity; continue with close coordination; and provide mutual support at regional and international forums, especially at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie (APF).

Before talks, NA Chairman Hue and his high-ranking delegation laid wreaths at the Lao Unknown Martyrs Monument.

Vietnam values strategic partnership with Malaysia: PM

The Vietnamese Party, State, Government and people highly value the stable, sustainable and long-term development of strategic partnership with Malaysia, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh told Malaysian Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Utama Haji Mohamad Bin Haji Hasan during a reception in Hanoi on December 4.

PM Chinh believed that Malaysia will successfully implement its New Industrial Master Plan 2030, elevating the country to a high-income nation with an increasing position on the international arena.

He described Malaysia as Vietnam's second largest investor in ASEAN, ranking 10th out of 140 countries and territories investing in the country, with a total capital of US$13 billion. Vietnam now has 21 investment projects in Malaysia with a total registered capital of over US$850 million. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, two-way trade hit nearly 15 billion USD last year, up 17% annually.

The PM expressed his wish to further deepen bilateral strategic partnership in all areas, including the exchange of all-level delegations, investment, trade, culture, education-training, tourism, and people-to-people exchange. He suggested Malaysia assist Vietnam in having yellow card warnings lifted, developing the Halal industry, and opening the door for Vietnamese Halal products.

Informing his guest about Vietnam's foreign policy and the "four nos" defense policy, he affirmed that the Vietnamese Government always creates the most favorable conditions for the development of cooperation between the two defense ministries.

The Malaysian Minister of Defence affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of Malaysia in the region and the only country in ASEAN with which Malaysia has established a strategic partnership, according to VNA.

Briefing the host about the outcomes of his talks with the Vietnamese Defence Minister, he said in the near future, both sides will increase the exchange of delegations, soon establish mechanisms for consultation and dialogue, strengthen coordination among military forces, step up collaboration in areas where both sides have strengths and needs such as training, defense industry, logistics, medical services and disaster relief while offering active consultation and mutual support at global and regional security forums.

At the reception (Photo: VNA)
At the reception (Photo: VNA)

In reply, PM Chinh suggested the two defense ministries continue working closely together, for the sake of peace, cooperation and development of each country, the region and the world.

Both sides need to continue realizing the signed cooperation documents fully and effectively, enhance collaboration in areas of their strength and potential, support the law enforcement agencies at sea to strengthen information exchange and crime prevention, cooperate in training and assist each other's fishing vessels and fishermen in distress at sea, explore and expand potential cooperation areas such as defense industry, logistics, and military medicine, Chinh said.

He wished that, as two active and influential members of ASEAN, Malaysia and Vietnam would continue to support and propose practical initiatives and actions to uphold the internal solidarity and central role of ASEAN in the regional security architecture.

He called for the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), toward early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), guaranteeing the security, safety, freedom of overflight and navigation, the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the interests of the parties, contributing to creating an environment of peace, stability, cooperation and development in the East Sea.

HCM City, Saint Petersburg boost cooperation across multiple fields

Vo Van Hoan, vice chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, held a working session on December 4 alongside a delegation of Saint Petersburg led by Grigoriev Evgeny Dmitrievich, chairman of the Committee for External Relations of the Russian city.

At the session, Hoan affirmed that the southern metropolis stands willing to boost co-operative activities with St Petersburg in trade, education, and healthcare.

The city incentivises and offers favorable conditions for local businesses to engage in trade with St Petersburg, while also striving to intensify cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two localities, he said.

Hoan emphasized that the southern city hailed the signing of collaboration agreements between Vyborgsky district and Thu Duc city, as well as between Kronstadt district and Can Gio district, hoping that the agreements will soon be translated into specific cooperation programs and projects, VOV reported.

At the working session.
At the working session.

Moreover, Ho Chi Minh City stays ready to work alongside St Petersburg to speed up the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on co-operation between the elected bodies of the two cities.

In response, the Russian official noted that St Petersburg desires to work with Ho Chi Minh City to concretise co-operation agreements into specific tasks and projects for the wider benefit of people of the two countries.

Highlighting the socio-economic potential and position of the southern city, he called on municipal leaders to support the signing of MoUs for the purpose of boosting cooperation between districts and agencies of the two localities.

Dmitrievich added that he backs the launch of direct flights between St Petersburg and the southern city moving forward.

NA Chairman visits former Lao leaders

Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue visited former General Secretary of the Lao People's Revolutionary Party (LPRP) and President of Laos Bounnhang Vorachith and former Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong in Vientiane on December 4, on the occasion of his trip to attend the first Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV) Parliamentary Summit.

Conveying the regards of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, President Vo Van Thuong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to them, Chairman Hue thanked the former Lao leaders for their dedication and great contributions to fostering the unique friendship between Vietnam and Laos.

He wished that they would continue supporting the overall development of the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries.

The Vietnamese leader believed that under the sound leadership of the LPRP, Laos will overcome all challenges to thrive, cited VNA.

NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (L) and former Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith (Photo: VNA)
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (L) and former Lao Party General Secretary and President Bounnhang Vorachith (Photo: VNA)

The former Lao leaders expressed their delight at the fine development of bilateral ties across the board. They thanked Vietnam for its valuable support to Laos and proposed that both sides continue to nurture their special friendship.

They also highlighted the need to continue raising awareness of the two countries’ young generations about the special traditional relationship.

High tech brings Vietnam’s farm produce to the world

Seeking new markets, applying high tech, developing a cooperative economy, and building value chains will all improve the competitiveness of Vietnam’s farm produce in the world market, experts have said.

Chair of the Science and Training Council of the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Tran Duc Vien noted that Vietnam is integrating into the international economy more deeply and widely. The signing of nearly 20 FTAs (free trade agreements) will have a significant impact on the agricultural sector through the opportunity to participate in the global agricultural supply chain.

Vietnam's agricultural exports to partners in the EVFTA (EU-Vietnam FTAs), RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and other trade agreements are much broader than the WTO (World Trade Organization). The quality of farm produce will help expand the markets.

However, Vietnam’s agriculture remains under the form of smallholders, so risks are high and efficiency is low, while the added value of agricultural products is even lower. Vietnamese farmers make a profit by the sale of their own work.

The number of large enterprises playing a leading role in the integration process of the agricultural sector is still modest.

“The agriculture sector still cannot overcome its internal problems, and the rural economy is developing unevenly,” Vien said.

The phenomenon of "good harvests, bad value" has existed for many years. When farmers have bountiful crops, farm produce selling prices decline, and when prices increase, they don’t have products to sell.

Agricultural production is not well organized, which explains why farmers rush to cultivate the same crops when crops go for good prices and chop down crops when prices fall. The rush leads to an oversupply and farmers have to call to "rescue farm produce".

“These are examples of unsustainable agricultural production, which makes farmers suffer,” Vien said.

Moreover, the competitiveness of Vietnam’s farm produce is weak because of the lack of produce diversity, uneven sizes, and lack of labels for easy identification. No traceability and the lack of strong brands have been cited as reasons behind ineffective agricultural production.

Eighty percent of Vietnam’s produce is exported raw and unprocessed. Exports rely heavily on the Chinese market. Vietnam’s farm exports compete in the world market with low prices and are mostly sold in the low-quality market segment.

Investments in agriculture are inappropriate. Services supporting agricultural production are weak, especially in post-harvesting preservation and logistics, VNN reported.

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

The processing industry and deep-processed products have small scale and outdated technology, which is why quality is low and the added value is modest.

The government has encouraged the formation of production-distribution chains and large-scale agricultural production. However, this has been going slowly because of the lack of appropriate support.

Meanwhile, the trading system focuses on only traditional and profitable products, such as rice, rubber, coffee, pepper and cashew nuts. The farm produce trading floors operate at a moderate level.

Vien pointed out that Vietnam needs to rethink agricultural production restructuring. For a long time, restructuring has been based on changes in product structure. This needs to be replaced with another solution, with focus on three factors.

First, seeking and retaining markets for farm produce. Second, applying science and technology. Third, reform of agricultural production organization.

Vien said that it is necessary to develop a cooperative economy and value chains to improve the competitiveness of agriculture. Focus should be on the following:

First, continue to promote economic growth in rural areas, with attention to social progress and justice in development; and second, increase welfare by adjusting social benefits. The state is responsible for adjusting and distributing welfare through land, agricultural development and public investment policies. Of these, improving product traceability and farm produce distribution can be done immediately.

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