|Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Canadian counterpart Justine Trudeau
The trip has affirmed Vietnam’s proactive efforts and high sense of responsibility for addressing global challenges and created more impetus for the Vietnam-Canada bilateral comprehensive partnership.
It was the second time the Vietnamese PM has attended an expanded G7 summit, with the first time in 2006.
What is different this time is that Vietnam was invited to the summit as an independent nation, not as representative of an organisation or a group of regional countries, proving that Canada appreciates and wants to foster ties with Vietnam. It also demonstrated that G7 member states highly value Vietnam’s role, prestige and international stature.
With topics of sustainable development, gender equality, women’s role, and seas and oceans, the summit delivered a message of enhancing regional and global cooperation in protecting sea and ocean ecological environment.
Along with supporting Canada’s initiatives, Vietnam proposed its own ideas to strengthen global collaboration in the fight against plastic waste discharge into oceans and gender equality promotion amidst climate change response.
In his speech to the summit, PM Phuc suggested establishing an expanded cooperation mechanism between G7 member states and coastal nations to respond to climate change, rising seawater and protect marine ecological system.
He also urged G7 countries to launch a global cooperation mechanism to reduce plastic wastes.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ha Kim Ngoc said initiatives proposed by PM Phuc were welcomed by G7 nations and international organisations, and also marked Vietnam and the PM’s imprint on the important event.
As Vietnam is one of the countries hardest hit by climate change and rising sea water, the PM affirmed Vietnam’s commitment to joining global efforts to soon realise the Paris Agreement reached at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21)
On the sidelines of the event, PM Phuc held bilateral meetings with leaders of many countries and international organisations such as the PMs of Japan, Norway, Bangladesh, Italy; the Presidents of France, Argentina, Haiti, Senegal, South Africa; the World Bank President, the General Director of the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Secretary General.
During the meetings, the Vietnamese Government leader discussed measures to enhance trust, extend cooperation between Vietnam and those countries, especially in economy, trade and investment.
Along with the success of his participation in the G7 Outreach Summit, the visit to Canada by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc took place at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 45th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties and have signed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Less than one year since the official visit to Vietnam by Prime Minister Trudeau in November 2017, the two PMs have had the second talks on ways to reinforce and strengthen the bilateral relations in all fields.
At the talks, Trudeau affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of Canada in the region.
He appreciated Vietnam’s contributions to the success of the G7 Outreach Summit, especially the country’s initiatives on cooperation to enhance response capability of coastal communities, support sustainable development of fishery, and protect ocean environment.
The two PMs agreed to boost ties in politics-diplomacy, trade, investment and development, defence security, education, training, labour, science-technology, culture, sports, people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation among localities.
They also exchanged viewpoints on regional and international issues of mutual concerns, including the maintenance of security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea.
They advocated the settlement of any disputes in the East Sea via peaceful means with full respect for diplomatic and legal procedures without use or threat to use force, and with respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the East Sea, towards the early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC), while promoting the use of the ocean for peaceful purposes and marine environmental protection.
During his trip to Canada, PM Phuc attended a business forum to talk to businesses of the two countries about Vietnam’s policies to attract foreign investment, train workers, and boost bilateral trade.
He emphasised numerous cooperation opportunities for businesses once the CPTPP comes into force.
“I believe that there would be a boom and a new wave of investment from Canada in Vietnam that brings benefits for the two countries’ businesses and peoples”, he said.
During his visit, PM Phuc received Premier of Quebec Philippe Couillard and joined a working lunch with former Prime Minister Jeans Chretien, Governor General Julie Payette, and some leading groups of Vietnam and Canada.
The PM visited Laval University where many Vietnamese students are pursuing education, met with Vietnamese community in Canada and laid wreath at the Nguyen Trai statue in Esplanade Park, which is a symbol of long-standing friendship and sound relations between the two peoples.
With special milestones in both bilateral and multilateral aspects, the visit to Canada by the Vietnamese PM has created a driving force for the bilateral comprehensive partnership across the field and demonstrated the responsibilities, commitments and concrete actions of Vietnam in addressing global issues.