Agreements head historic China visit

November 08, 2022 | 08:00
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Vietnam and China have further secured bilateral ties with numerous new cooperation deals inked and a strong commitment to facilitate two-way trade and investment.

Vietnam and China early last week signed 13 documents to intensify bilateral ties, witnessed by Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and China’s Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping after bilateral talks were rounded off in Beijing during the Vietnamese leader’s visit to China during October 30-November 2.

Agreements head historic China visit
Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping presented China’s Friendship Medal to Party General Secretary of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong, photo VNA

The documents cover various sectors that will facilitate both nations’ ministries, agencies, and localities to deepen cooperation (see box).

During their talks, the Vietnamese Party leader stressed that Vietnam attached special importance to the Chinese market, wanted to raise exports to China, and wished that China would continue creating favourable conditions for and soon open its market for Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery products.

Party General Secretary Trong also suggested that China facilitate procedures and increase the quota of Vietnamese goods transiting China to a third country by rail, and promote favourable conditions for cooperation in air, road, and rail transport.

Figures from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam showed that both countries’ bilateral trade turnover has kept expanding, hitting $147.7 billion in the first 10 months of this year. China is Vietnam’s second-largest export market (after the US) and the largest import market. Meanwhile, Vietnam is China’s biggest trade partner within ASEAN and the sixth-largest trade partner in the world. In the first 10 months of this year, Vietnam’s exports to China hit $47 billion – up 5.6 per cent on-year, and its imports from China stood at $100.7 billion – up 12.3 per cent on-year. The figure reached $165.9 billion last year, up 24.6 per cent compared to the previous year.

Vietnam welcomes and stands ready to create favourable conditions for China’s large, high-tech companies to expand investment in the nation, said the Vietnamese Party leader.

Currently, China has over 3,500 valid investment projects in Vietnam, registered at $22.6 billion in total, making it the sixth-largest foreign investor in the Southeast Asian nation. In the first 10 months of 2022, Chinese investors registered $1.7 billion in Vietnam for both new and operational projects, and stake acquisitions and capital contributions as well.

The Chinese leader reaffirmed that China would ensure bilateral trade relations grow in a more balanced direction and facilitate the imports of Vietnam’s agro-forestry-fishery products to the Chinese market.

Vietnam and China have also agreed to intensify ties in agriculture, environment, science and technology, and healthcare.

The two leaders suggested that each side continue to create favourable travel conditions for the people of both nations, soon restore commercial flights and cooperation in tourism and trade, and continue to facilitate exchanges and cooperation, especially in border localities.

The Chinese leader presented China’s Friendship Medal to the Vienamese leader. On behalf of the Party and the state of Vietnam, the latter invited the former to visit Vietnam soon, to which he accepted.

In 2017, Vietnam and China signed 15 cooperation deals on many sectors ranging from the economy, transportation and defence to healthcare, tourism, and training during Party General Secretary Trong’s official visit to China. Vietnam and China established a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in 2008.

The two nations’ senior leaders reached a common understanding on strengthening coordination and jointly promoting trade, production capacity and investment, infrastructure, and finance cooperation.

Both sides have established and signed many mechanisms, such as a working group on cooperation on infrastructure and a working group on monetary cooperation; an agreement on extending and supplementing the 5-year development plan for economic and trade cooperation between Vietnam and China for the 2017-2021 period; and the Amended Border Trade Agreement (2016).

In 2020, Vietnam and China reached consensus on boosting investment and trade to gradually touch 2-way trade balances and raise the latter’s high-quality investment in the former. Both countries also agreed to deepen ties in sci-tech, the environment, transport, agriculture, and healthcare while expanding cooperation in culture, education, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges.

At a meeting in July between Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh and Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, they agreed China should open its markets for Vietnamese agricultural produce more rapidly and that several economic cooperation projects and non-refundable aid projects in Vietnam need to be quickened, even though travel between the two countries is still challenging.

Wang Yi said that China attaches special importance to Vietnam’s interest in expanding the exports of agro-forestry-fishery products to China, and China stands ready to open and upgrade border gates as per the needs of the two sides and continues to expand markets and cooperation with Vietnam.

Deals signed during the official visit by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to China

- Agreement between the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations and the CPC Central Committee’s International Liaison Commission

- MoU on cooperation between the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs and the latter’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission.

- MoU on friendship cooperation for 2022-2027 between the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries

- MoU on cooperation between the two countries’ ministries of justice.

- MoU on cooperation between Hanoi and Beijing in general.

- MoU between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on strengthening joint works to ensure the supply chain between the nations.

- MoU between the General Department of Vietnam Customs and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) on developing priority sectors.

- MoU on cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

- MoU on cooperation in food safety in bilateral trade with the GACC and Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

- MoU on cooperation in trade and economy between the MoIT with the People’s Government of China’s Yunnan province.

- Plan on cooperation for 2023-2027 between Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism and China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

- MoU on cooperation between Vietnam’s Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises and China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council.

- Protocol on requiring phytosanitary for bananas exported from Vietnam to China between Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the GACC.

Excerpt from Vietnam-China Joint Statement, November 1

Vietnam and China agree to actively promote connectivity of their development strategies, accelerate discussion and sign a cooperation plan between the two governments on promoting connectivity between the “Two corridors, one belt” framework and the Belt and Road Initiative; roll out cooperation in production capacity, infrastructure construction, and transport connectivity; and complete the evaluation of the Lao Cai-Hanoi-Haiphong railway planning.

The two sides hold that e-commerce is an important field in bilateral economic-trade cooperation, and agree to continue implementing the MoU on enhancing e-commerce cooperation between Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade and China’s Ministry of Commerce, bring into full play the role of the working group on e-commerce, and increase the exchange of policy and sharing of experience in developing cross-border e-commerce.

Both sides also agree to promote collaboration between logistics firms, study enhancing electronic payment cooperation between banks and national payments switches, and improve capacity for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises so as to expand commercial channels and new investments through e-commerce. China will continue to expand the consumption of outstanding, high-quality products of Vietnam through e-commerce promotion activities.

The Chinese side supports Vietnam’s trade promotion offices in Chonqing and Hangzhou in playing an active role in economic-trade cooperation between the two countries. China supports Vietnam’s establishment of other trade promotion offices in China, and welcomes Vietnam’s participation in the fifth China International Import Expo.

The Vietnamese side is ready to create favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to promote cooperation in investment and economics-trade. China encourages qualified Chinese enterprises to invest in Vietnam based on market and trade principles.

By Thanh Thu

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