President Nguyen Xuan Phuc had meetings with many foreign leaders and World Bank Group (WB) President David Malpass shortly after he arrived in New York on September 21 (local time) for the General Debate of the UN General Assembly’s 76th session (UNGA 76).
The President met with President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in, who said that the RoK wants to further beef up the strategic partnership with Vietnam, so as to lift two-way trade to US$100 billion by 2023 and deepen cooperation in digital economy, bio-products and finance. Moon announced that the RoK will donate more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine which will be delivered in mid-October to Vietnam
Thanking the RoK for its much-needed assistance, President Phuc said the two countries need to soon keep the virus at bay to promote their strategic partnership more widely and comprehensively in the coming time, particularly when they are celebrating the 30th anniversary of their diplomatic relations next year.
Phuc asked the RoK side to continue expanding FDI projects, both in size and number, in Vietnam and ramping up technology transfer to domestic firms while pledging to provide further support for Korean companies to do business in the Southeast Asian country.
He also had a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin, during which both leaders expressed their delight at the strong growth of the bilateral trade, which reached US$4.2 billion last year despite the impacts of COVID-19.
The Vietnamese president suggested the two sides resume delegation exchanges and meetings at levels and foster cooperation in multiple areas to mark the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year as soon as the pandemic is brought under control.
He asked PM Martin to push for the early ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) at the Irish national parliament and maintain the provision of Official Development Assistance (ODA) to Vietnam in the coming time.
He wished Ireland to help Vietnam gain broader access to COVID-19 vaccine supply and provide it with medical supplies, such as ventilators and test kits.
Phuc also thanked Ireland for its support at the UN Security Council.
During his meeting with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Demark, President Phuc proposed assisting Vietnam in accessing vaccine supplies, including via the vaccine-sharing COVAX Facility.
The two leaders said they are pleased to see to the development of the two-way trade and the fulfillment of goals set in the Vietnam-Denmark Action Plan for the 2019 – 2020. The two sides are actively formulating an action plan for 2021 – 2022.
Frederiksen agreed with Phuc’s proposal, saying he will encourage more Danish enterprises to invest in Vietnam in the fields of maritime transport, seaport construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing of energy equipment, renewable energy, green technologies, sustainable husbandry and fisheries, green transformation, and climate change.
Meeting with the Vietnamese President, President of Slovenia Borut Pahour hailed the positive developments of the Slovenia-Vietnam ties, and voiced his hope to elevate Vietnam’s position in the country’s foreign policy.
For his part, President Phuc suggested the two countries early hold the third session of the Intergovernmental Slovenian–Vietnamese Commission for cooperation in economic-trade and science-technology, possibly in virtual form if necessary, to discuss cooperation orientations in potential fields such as machinery mechanics, automatism, logistics, food processing and sea port.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the transfer of production technology for COVID-19 treatment medicine for Vietnam and negotiations on the recognition of each other’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate and passport, paving the way for the travel of their citizens when international air routes resume.
The Vietnamese President said that Vietnam pays special attention to close collaboration with the EU in fisheries development and sustainable seafood exploitation. He urged Slovenia, as rotating President of the Council of the EU, to support and promote the removal of the “yellow card” imposed on Vietnam's aquatic products.
Vietnam holds a consistent viewpoint of promoting responsible and sustainable seafood exploitation in line with regulations of international law, he affirmed.
During his meeting with President of the Dominican Republic Luis Abinader, the Vietnamese State leader showed support for the Dominican Republic’s intention to open an embassy in Vietnam.
He assigned the Foreign Ministry to work with its Dominican Republic counterpart to carry out the plan so as to foster the bilateral ties in a practical manner.
On the same day, President Phuc also met with heads of states and high-ranking officials of Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Latvia, Sweden, Guyana, Lesotho, Costa Rica, Colombia and Uruguay, during which they discussed practical measure to strengthen and develop relations.
Leaders of the countries highly valued Vietnam’s performance as a non-member of the UNSC and the country’s effective and pragmatic engagement and contributions to global tasks, which they said demonstrates Vietnam’s high sense of responsibility and increasing role and position in the international arena.
President Phuc and the countries’ leaders reiterated that peace, stability, maritime security and freedom of navigation in the East Sea are of mutual concern, and underlined that disputes should be resolved by peaceful measures in tandem with international law.
Also in New York, President Phuc met with the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.
Appreciating Kerry’s contributions to the Vietnam - US relations over the past decades, President Phuc spoke highly of the initiatives by President Joe Biden’s administration to promote global efforts in climate change response.
The Vietnamese leader said both countries should enhance cooperation in developing renewable energy, improving climate change adaptation, and managing trans-boundary water resources via bilateral and multilateral mechanisms.
Vietnam is strongly committed to responding to climate change, he stressed.
Kerry affirmed that the US continues to attach importance to the comprehensive partnership with Vietnam.
He emphasised the US’ determination and efforts to continue strengthening cooperation with and assisting developing countries, including Vietnam, to cope with this global issue.
Talking to President of the World Bank (WB) Group David Malpass, President Phuc said WB-funded projects and its policy advice have substantially contributed to Vietnam’s economic development and social security and helped the Vietnamese Government make effective macro-economic policies, surmount impacts of the global economic crisis, and maintain positive growth.
He thanked the WB for providing US$6.2 million in non-refundable aid for Vietnam last year, and supporting allowing the country to delay the payment of certain loans given by the WB’s International Development Association (IDA) in order to reserve resources for purchasing vaccines, biological products, and medical equipment in the face of the pandemic.
The Vietnamese State leader asked the WB to continue giving policy advice on economic recovery and helping Vietnam access and buy COVID-19 vaccines, receive vaccine production technology, and manufacture vaccines in the country.
The WB Group President said he is impressed by the Vietnamese Government’s efforts in COVID-19 prevention and control, as well as economic recovery.
He also thanked the Government for closely coordinating with the WB, stating that the WB will keep accompanying Vietnam in the fight against COVID-19 and increase policy advice to help the country realise the goal of becoming a developed and high-income nation by 2045.