PM: Vietnam ready to enhance cooperation with partners
Updated : Tuesday, June 12, 2018 4:24 PM (GMT+0700)

TheAsia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada) has published on its website aninterview with Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the conclusion ofthe 44th G7 summit held on June 8–9, 2018, in Quebec. The followingis the full text of the interview.

 
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc - Photo: VNA

* Ocean is an agenda itemfor this year’s G7 Leaders’ Outreach Session. We know that Vietnam is a coastalcountry highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Mr. Prime Minister,could you please share with us the policies that Vietnam is pursuing to developits marine economy and protect the marine environment?

- The 21stcentury is the century of oceans, as the seas and oceans are the habitat anddevelopment space for the coastal countries in general and the planet as awhole. Therefore, the development of maritime economy and the protection of themarine environment play a very important role in the sustainable development ofcoastal countries, including Vietnam.

Our country has immensepotential for marine economy development: a 3,260 km long coastline, or onekilometer of coastline for every 100 square kilometers of land, six timesgreater than the world average. Vietnam has 1 million square kilometers ofterritorial waters, endowed with rich and lucrative resources, such as seafood(3 to 3.5 million tonnes), oil and gas, and other mineral resources. Vietnamhas more than 2,770 islands and islets, and many beautiful bays recognized asworld heritages, such as Ha Long Bay, and 125 beautiful scenic beaches, 20among them are of international standards. These make for enormous potentialfor the development of maritime tourism. 

In addition, Vietnam is alsolocated in a very important geo-strategic position on the international tradelane connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Five out of ten largest sealanes in the world pass through the East Sea (a.k.a. South China Sea),accounting for more than 50 percent of total global shipments. With more than90 ports, including deep-water international transit ports, Vietnam boastsexcellent potential in the development of sea transport, transit and logistics.

Given such rich potential,marine economy and seaward development have been Vietnam's strategicdevelopment orientation for many years. Our vision is to build Vietnam into amarine-capable country. We have set the target that by 2020, the marine andcoastal economic sectors shall account for 55 percent of our GDP and 60 percentof gross export.

To realize the above visionand goal, Vietnam has been implementing many policies, plans and measures todevelop the marine economy and protect the marine environment.

First, we have beenimproving the institutions, policies, legal framework and planning for the seaand islands. The Sea Law, Marine Resources and Environment Law and relevantregulations are being effectively implemented. Vietnam has acceded to multipleinternational maritime protocols and agreements in order to create the legalframework for the development of the marine economy.

Second, we are consistentlyimplementing policies pertaining to the research and development andapplication of marine science and technologies. We are modernizing the marineinfrastructure to support the marine economy such as coastal roads and the portnetwork. Vietnam has established a number of competitive marine industries,such as tourism, aquaculture, fishing and seafood processing, oil and gasexploitation and production as well as fifteen coastal economic zones. Theexport value of seafood in 2017 exceeded 8.3 billion USD, a record year-onincrease of 19 percent. The figure for the first five months of 2018 amountedto 3.15 billion USD, up 11 percent year-on year.

Third, we consider theprotection of the marine environment and ecology an extremely important,regular and long-term mission. Developing the marine economy concurrently withthe protection of the marine environment is Vietnam's consistent position inher marine strategy, the principle being that “use and extraction” need to gohand-in-hand with “protection and renewal”, without trading off the environmentfor economic growth. All development projects must ensure full and effectiveobservance of environment protection regulations. The Vietnamese governmentencourages businesses within and outside of Vietnam to invest into thesustainable development of the marine economy, such as marine ecosystemprotection, sustainable aquaculture and renewable energy development, treatmentof waste discharged into the sea, and enhancing capacity for responding toclimate change and rising sea level.

Fourth, we will step upinternational cooperation and integration, thus making active and responsiblecontribution to the reinforcement of peace and stability in the seas. Vietnamsupports the effort of the international community that contributessubstantially to the maintenance of peace, stability, security, safety andfreedom of navigation and overflight, and to the protection of the marineenvironment. Vietnam’s consistent policy is to resolve differences and disputesthrough peaceful means in compliance with international law, in particular the1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; respect the diplomaticand legal processes; promote mutual trust; refrain from the use or threat offorce; fully and effectively implement the Declaration of Conduct of Parties inthe South China Sea (DOC); and work towards the early conclusion of asubstantive and effective Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea(COC).

Vietnam stands ready topromote cooperation with all countries and partners in the development ofmarine economy, on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and observance ofinternational law towards the common goal of clean, peaceful and stable oceansfor the common prosperity.

*  Mr Prime Minister,Vietnam has been invited by host countries to the 2016 G7 Leaders’ OutreachSession in Japan, the 2017 G20 Summit in Germany and again to the 2018 G7Leaders’ Outreach in Canada. This seems to indicate the growing role and statusof the country in the international arena. Could you please give us some ideasabout the messages and initiatives of Vietnam at the 2018 G7 Leaders’ OutreachSession?

- In implementing ourforeign policy of independence, self-reliance, diversification andmulti-directionalisation of our external relations, Vietnam is carrying outactive and extensive international integration in a variety of areas. As atrustworthy friend and partner, Vietnam has been making active and responsiblecontribution to matters of common interest to the international community atmany important multilateral forums, such as the United Nations, ASEAN, APEC andASEM to name a few. The fact that Vietnam was invited to join the recent G20and G7 Leaders’ Outreach Summits indicates that the international communityacknowledges Vietnam's active role, efforts and contributions to themaintenance of a peaceful and stable environment for cooperation anddevelopment in the region, the promotion of the shared interests, as well asthe settlement of the common challenges of the world and the region.

The agenda of this year's G7Leaders’ Outreach Session prioritizes discussion on the ocean. This is a matterof existential importance to the survival and development of coastal countriesand the planet at large. At the Summit, the leaders of G7 countries and invitedcountries and international organizations shared their views and ideas on thepromotion of international cooperation to enhance capacity in climate changeand rising sea level adaptation and response, sustainable extraction of marineresources, and protection of the marine environment and ecology.

The fact that Vietnam wasinvited to the G7 Leaders’ Outreach Session by Canada is both another stepforward in the Vietnam – Canada Comprehensive Partnership established inNovember 2017, and a testimony to the role, status and efforts of Vietnam inclimate change response, marine economy development and marine environment protectionthat are acknowledged by the international community.

At this Summit, Vietnam hasprovided concrete and responsible inputs to the discussions of many importantagenda items, in particular the promotion of serious implementation of theParis Agreement on Climate Change, the protection of the marine environment andecosystem, and the prevention of plastics pollution the oceans where as much as8 million tonnes of plastic are being added every year. We welcome Canada andG7 countries’ initiatives to promote cooperation to prevent marine litter,advance gender equality and facilitate women's access to basic resources andservices for climate change response.

On our part, Vietnamsuggested that the international community should discuss the possibility of aGlobal Agreement on the Prevention of Plastic Litter in the Ocean, akin to theParis Agreement on climate change. In addition, Vietnam also calls upon the G7countries to consider establishing an Expanded Cooperation Forum between G7countries and coastal countries on climate change and rising sea level responseand marine environment and ecosystem protection. Such initiatives stem from theurgent need of the international community for the promotion of concrete andeffective cooperation in climate change response and marine environmentprotection, and thus were welcomed and highly regarded by many countries at theSummit.

Vietnam stands ready topromote cooperation with all countries and partners in implementing theabove-mentioned initiatives through concrete and practical programs andprojects, for the common sustainable development and prosperity of our planetas a whole.

Source:VNA

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