Under the wise and timely direction of Party and State leaders, in 2022, the diplomatic sector quickly shifted its focus from vaccine diplomacy to economic diplomacy for national recovery and development, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu said in a recent interview granted to the media.
Accordingly, economic diplomacy was strongly promoted, becoming the central task of the whole sector as well as of all 94 Vietnamese representative offices abroad, he added.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in collaboration with relevant ministries, agencies, and localities, concretised the Resolution adopted at the 13th National Party Congress in relation to economic diplomacy for national development until 2030.
The diplomatic sector, together with other sectors, helped deepen relations between Vietnam and other countries, especially in the fields of economics, trade, and investment. Economic cooperation became the focal point in all external activities.
It made contributions to promoting international economic integration and linkage, while promptly taking advantage of attracting external resources to serve new driving forces for development, especially green financial sources, investment in energy transformation, and investment in high-tech industries, among others.
The ministry supported the effective implementation of 15 signed free trade agreements (FTAs), and made recommendations for the country to promptly engage in international economic integration initiatives in order to take full advantage of resources for development.
Last year, the ministry organised more than 50 working delegations with 25 localities, organised about 70 activities connecting localities with partners, supported the signing of more than 40 international cooperation documents. These efforts have been recognised and appreciated by localities and businesses.
According to Deputy FM Vu, the ministry and Vietnamese representive offices abroad continued to actively coordinate with ministries and sectors to support localities and businesses to optimise the FTA network and attract foreign investment, thus promoting two of the three important growth drivers - trade and investment.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accompanied the Ministry of Planning and Investment and agencies to attract high-quality investment, connect and support foreign enterprises to invest and expand operations in Vietnam, as well as to strengthen exchange and cooperation with investment funds and study international investment trends.
Highlighting the promotion of green and digital economic development, Vu said Vietnam is one of developing countries with a strong commitment to green and digital transformation. Vietnam's commitment at the COP 26 Conference in 2021 requires the country's great efforts but also opens up a lot of opportunities for cooperation with international partners as these are the issues of global concern.
Currently, international organisations, multilateral mechanisms, and development partners all give high priority and pool plenty of resources to promote the international community's effort to implement green transition, energy transition, innovation, and digital transformation. Following that trend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant ministries and agencies focused on promoting cooperation with partners both bilaterally and multilaterally in order to maximise the attraction of external resources, along with domestic resources, for the implementation of national strategies relating to green and digital transformation.
Digital economic cooperation was also highlighted in high-level foreign affairs activities, with a specific focus on attracting investment, training human resources, and improving management capacity. Many international partners such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) expressed willingness to cooperate with Vietnam on digital skills, the establishment of the fourth Industrial Revolution centre and other initiatives.
The ministry will continue to closely work with relevant ministries and sectors to further promote ties in these fields in order to pool more external resources for the transformation of the domestic growth model, according to the Deputy FM.
Regarding Directive No. 15-CT/TW on economic diplomacy issued by the Party Central Committee's Secretariat on August 10, 2022, Vu said the directive identifies economic diplomacy as a basic and central task of Vietnamese diplomacy, an important driving force for rapid and sustainable development of the country as a whole, while playing a pioneering role in mobilising external resources.
The directive affirms the special importance of economic diplomacy moving forward, stressed the Deputy FM.
To implement this directive, the Prime Minister directly chaired a conference to promote economic diplomacy in service of national development in September 2022, as well as a conference to summarise vaccine diplomacy and lessons to step up economic diplomacy in the new context in November last year, he added.
To ramp up economic diplomacy moving forward, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will steadfastly and consistently implement the country’s foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation, and diversification of international relations under the motto ‘Vietnam is a friend, a reliable and responsible partner of the international community’.
It will pay closer attention to research, forecasts, and policy advice as a means of grasping the situation, as well as introducing timely, appropriate, and drastic solutions for implementation of assigned tasks. It will focus on renewing methods to suit the new situation for the sake of the nation and people, while bringing into play the activeness and creativity of Vietnamese representative agencies abroad.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese representative offices abroad will also continue to do their best to carry out economic diplomacy for development, affirmed Deputy FM Vu