Vietnam News Today (Sep. 14): HCM City Looks to Expand Trade Partnership With Canada

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 14): Measures suggested to deepen Vietnam-Laos friendship, solidarity, cooperation; Milestone in further promoting Vietnam-France relations over five decades; HCM City looks to expand trade partnership with Canada; Vietnam Airlines Group to offer nearly three million tickets for Tet.
September 14, 2023 | 10:17

Vietnam News Today (Sep. 14) notable headlines

Measures suggested to deepen Vietnam-Laos friendship, solidarity, cooperation

Milestone in further promoting Vietnam-France relations over five decades

HCM City looks to expand trade partnership with Canada

Vietnam Airlines Group to offer nearly three million tickets for Tet

Vietnam on frontline to absorb quality FDI

Hosting of global conference shows Vietnam as active, responsible IPU member

Vietnam gets major haul at 2023 World Travel Awards

Ceremonies celebrating Fidel Castro’s first visit to Vietnam

US President’s Vietnam visit expected to open up new development stage

Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung. (Photo: VNA)

Measures suggested to deepen Vietnam-Laos friendship, solidarity, cooperation

Vietnamese Ambassador to Laos Nguyen Ba Hung outlined measures to help Vietnam and Laos further preserve, nurture, and deepen their great friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation in a recent interview to the Vietnam News Agency regarding the 61st anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic relations.

Hung noted that the world and regional situations are undergoing unprecedented and rapid developments coupled with the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, creating a complex mix of opportunities and challenges. The ambassador said he believes that Vietnam and Laos need to continue standing side by side, enhancing the effectiveness of their cooperation and, in the immediate future, focusing on three priorities.

First, they should continue to deepen their political relations, effectively implement high-level agreements, and maintain and improve the effectiveness of cooperation mechanisms between their top leaders. It is crucial to promote and raise the common understanding of the special relationship among their people from all walks of life.

Secondly, they should elevate their economic cooperation by expanding and upgrading the east-west transportation connectivity, establish cohesive cooperation mechanisms, and special policies to unleash resources. It is also necessary to create the most favorable conditions for Vietnamese and Lao businesses and peoples, resolve issues through breakthrough solutions, utilize new cooperation models, and lever free trade agreements serving better commercial efficiency, market expansion, and investment attraction.

Thirdly, they should focus on the quality and effectiveness of human resources development to meet development needs and strengthen the bonds and solidarity between the two peoples, cited VNA.

Both countries have a solid foundation to maintain confidence in a bright future for their sustainable and special solidarity, the diplomat stated.

According to him, the bilateral political and diplomatic ties are becoming increasingly close and trustworthy, with high-level exchanges and interactions held regularly through all channels. Cooperation in defense-security and border affairs continues to be a vital pillar in the overall cooperative relationship, with the countries effectively teaming up in preventing and combating organized crime, transnational crime, and drug-related offenses.

Economic, investment, trade, cultural, and scientific-technical collaboration has been expanded, becoming more substantial and effective. Vietnam remains one of the largest investors in Laos. The connection of the two economies, especially infrastructure, transport, and energy, has been vigorously promoted. A significant strategic achievement is that Vietnam has facilitated Laos's access to the sea through its Vung Ang port, opening up new development prospects for the nation.

Joint work in education and human resource development are also a highlight. Over time, tens of thousands of Lao students have studied and conducted research in Vietnam, while thousands of Vietnamese students have studied in Laos.

Notably, Vietnam and Laos have focused on enhancing mutual support and assistance within regional and international forums, making a significant contribution to boosting each country's role and position regionally and internationally.

Milestone in further promoting Vietnam-France relations over five decades

Five decades of diplomatic relations and 10 years of a strategic partnership between the nation and France can be viewed as important milestones in the process of propelling bilateral ties, according to French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Wanery.

This year marks a special landmark when Vietnam celebrates the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations with many countries around the world, according to VOV.

This will also be an important milestone for the nation and its friends and partners to develop a new co-operation framework towards achieving a prosperous future.

Following the establishment of diplomatic ties with 193 countries and the establishment of a stable, long-term relationship framework with 30 strategic and comprehensive partners around the world, the nation’s prestige and position are increasingly appreciated, welcomed, and supported by international friends.

Looking back at the past five decades of co-operation with the country, French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Wanery said that France is one of the first Western countries to support Vietnamese reforms and open-door processes. Indeed, the Central European nation is happy to be Vietnam’s partner, particularly as the country notched up many successes on the Doi Moi (Renewal) process.

 French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Wanery.
French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Wanery.

The two sides have therefore bolstered co-operation across multiple fields, including economics, sustainable development, the environment, higher education, research, health care, governance, and administration.

The two sides still boast great ambitions in co-operation against climate change, security, and defence.

Referring to French support for Vietnam in the field of digital transformation, the French diplomat outlined that his nation is in the process of carrying out its first project with the Government Office and Vietnamese localities.

That is being done in support of Vietnam in building an electronic information portal, simplifying administrative procedures, and operating administrative services smoothly through digital tools. Both nations are currently at the beginning of a very long road of collaboration ahead.

With regard to how the joint relationship will be promoted moving forward following last year France announcing a new Indo-Pacific Strategy on the basis of France's new vision for this region, the Ambassador stated that France has announced the Pacific-Indian Ocean Strategy which features four pillars. These include security - defense; economy - connection - research and Innovation; multilateral co-operation – respect for the law; and combating climate change – biodiversity – sustainable management of seas and oceans.

France has been discussing with partners in the EU on these topics. Indeed, Germany and the EU then also announced their own Indo-Pacific Strategy, with the French Government's interest in this area also increasing, he said.

Vietnam is located in the center of ASEAN, with the bloc at the center of the Indo-Pacific Ocean. Therefore the nation plays an extremely important geopolitical role in the region.

France also plays an important role in this region as the country has seven territories located in the Pacific and Indian Oceans with 1.7 million inhabitants.

“We also have 7,000 soldiers stationed in the region. That is also the reason why our navy ships often travel back and forth in the area. The two countries have faced plenty of common challenges, which are multilateral relations, making all coastal countries respect international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” the French diplomat said.

In addition, France is ready to help the country to participate in the UN or EU peacekeeping missions in many other regions globally.

“We have helped the Vietnamese military train on the rules for sending soldiers and officers to participate in peacekeeping missions. We are very excited about the prospect of being able to cooperate with Vietnam in peace protection efforts in this region,” he added.

HCM City looks to expand trade partnership with Canada

Ho Chi Minh City always welcomes Canadian businesses and is willing to provide the best conditions for them to explore and operate long-term investment and business activities there, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Vo Van Hoan told a Canadian guest on September 13.

During a reception for Senator Victor Oh, Chairman of the Canada-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group, who is on a working trip to the southern metropolis, Hoan highlighted that there remains great potential and opportunities for trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and Canada, and between HCM City and Canadian localities in particular.

The host thanked Oh and his colleagues for their support for HCM City’s delegation during its working trip to Canada in June, which achieved many positive outcomes, reported VNA.

Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City (R) Vo Van Hoan receives Senator Victor Oh, Chairman of the Canada-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group. (Photo: VNA)
Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City (R) Vo Van Hoan receives Senator Victor Oh, Chairman of the Canada-Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Group. (Photo: VNA)

He called for support from the senator to promote trade ties and the exchange of business delegations between HCM City and Canadian localities, thus strengthening mutual understanding and making it easier for the two sides to explore opportunities for investment cooperation, towards realizing commitments to promoting economic cooperation between the two countries.

For his part, Senator Oh said Canadian companies consider Vietnam as a top investment destination in ASEAN and are eager to expand investment and trade cooperation with HCM City.

He affirmed that as a co-chair of the Canada-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group, he will do his utmost to support HCM City in stepping up economic cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with Canadian localities.

Oh highly valued the significance of the Ho Chi Minh City Economic Forum 2023’s theme of green growth, especially in the context of climate change having a severe impact worldwide.

Many businesses within the Vietnamese business community in Vancouver and Toronto of Canada have experience and strengths in green and sustainable growth areas, he said, stressing that this presents a favorable opportunity for HCM City to promote connections and partnerships in the future.

Vietnam Airlines Group to offer nearly three million tickets for Tet

Vietnam Airlines Group, comprising of Vietnam Airlines, Pacific Airlines, and VASCO, will put around three million tickets up for sale on domestic and international flights during the upcoming Lunar New Year, known locally as Tet.

The tickets are set to be for flights running from January 25 to February 24 with the aim of serving increasing travel demands during peak season of the traditional holiday.

Photo: VOV
Photo: VOV

Passengers can now buy Tet tickets on the official websites and mobile applications, as well as at ticketing offices of three carriers of Vietnam Airlines Group from September 13, cited VOV.

As many as two million seats, equivalent to 10,300 flights, are to be offered on domestic flights. In addition, the remaining one million seats will serve 4,650 flights on international routes.

As for domestic flights, the airlines will add seats on flights connecting Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City with destinations across the country, such as Hai Phong, Vinh, Thanh Hoa, Hue, Quy Nhon, Quang Nam, Pleiku, Da Lat, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc.

The airline will raise the frequency on key international routes between the nation and Japan, the Republic of Korea, China, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, Australia, France, and Germany.

Passengers are advised to book tickets early to enjoy cheaper prices and guaranteed flight availability. They have also been advised to pay attention to baggage allowances.

The Tet holiday will run from February 8 to February 14, 2024.

Vietnam on frontline to absorb quality FDI

Despite severe trade challenges, Vietnam continues to be on the frontline to absorb quality foreign direct investment (FDI), noted HSBC in its report ASEAN Perspectives released on September 12.

According to HSBC, when thinking of FDI and the benefits it can deliver, Vietnam naturally stands out.

Since Vietnam's Doi Moi reforms in 1986, the country has received substantial FDI inflows, turning itself into a rising star in the global manufacturing supply chain.

While much of the investment initially entered the lower value-add textile and footwear space, Vietnam has quickly climbed up the value chain, growing into a key hub for electronics assembly.

Much of the success in tech is thanks to Samsung's multi-year FDI roadmap in Vietnam: with an investment of US$18 billion over the last two decades, half of Samsung's global smartphone production is from Vietnam.

This has also incentivized other tech giants, particularly Apple, to expand their operations.

Greenfield FDI rose 40 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2023, with manufacturing alone accounting for 85 percent of new FDI. In particular, new FDI into manufacturing year to date has surprisingly exceeded those for the whole year in each of the past three years.

Despite a trade downturn, the trend provides hopes for Vietnam to see a strong rebound when the cycle turns.

Moreover, Vietnam has gained substantial FDI. As an example, new FDI into Vietnam's manufacturing sector so far this year is already more than in each of the past three years.

FDI inflows to Vietnam grew 8.2 percent year-on-year to nearly US$18.15 billion in the first eight months this year, official statistic data shows.

In the January-August period, there were 1,924 licensed projects with total registered capital of more than US$8.87 billion, up 69.5 percent and 39.7 percent in terms of projects and capital value compared to the same period last year, VGP reported.

Photo: VNN
Photo: VNN

Foreign investors pledged to add over US$4.53 billion to 830 existing projects while their total capital contributions and share purchases reached US$4.47 billion.

ASEAN keeps attracting FDI

The report also showed that ASEAN attracted a record high of almost 17 percent of global FDI in 2022, nearly double from four years ago. This achievement is a clear reflection of ASEAN's strong fundamentals, favorable demographics, and competitive supply chains.

Over the past 30 years, ASEAN has seen a bounty of FDI, thanks to the region's enormous growth potential, rising cost effectiveness, countless trade agreements and ongoing structural transformation, to name a few.

While the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC) dampened ASEAN's investment climate, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008-09 was a significant catalyst to the region's FDI boom, as multinational companies searched for investment opportunities in fast-growing and cost-competitive economies.

Total FDI to ASEAN-6 has averaged nearly USS128 billion per year during 2010-19, approximately three times more than the average over the previous decade.

Similarly, net FDI averaged nearly US$53 billion per annum in the same period, almost four times higher than the average from the previous decade. In particular, the trend has intensified in the post-COVID-19 era.

Total FDI surprisingly rose 45 percent to around US$185 billion on average, with net FDI doubling to US$105 billion in a short span period of 2020-22.

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