PM lauds Japan’s role in Mekong region development
Updated : Monday, October 08, 2018 11:37 AM (GMT+0700)

PrimeMinister Nguyen Xuan Phuc lauded the role of Japan in boosting cooperation anddevelopment in the Mekong region over the past years at an interview granted toJapanese media on the occasion of his visit to Japan and participation in the10th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting in the country from October 8-10.

 
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc - Photo: VNA

The PM noted that Mekongcountries have gained important socio-economic achievements, making the regionone of the areas with fastest growth speed in the world. During this process,the support of developing partners, including Japan, is significant, he said.

The partnership betweenJapan and Mekong region has been realised through both bilateral andmultilateral cooperation mechanisms in various fields such as politics,diplomacy, economy, trade, education, health care, environment, and tourism.

Japan is one of the Mekongregion’s leading trade, investment partner and ODA provider.

In the Mekong-Japancooperation framework, hundreds of projects worth dozens of billions of USDhave been successfully implemented, helping regional countries developtransport and industrial infrastructure, train human resources, improveinvestment and business environment, protect the environment, respond toclimate change, narrow development gap and reduce poverty, he said.

The PM added that Japan hasalso supported the building and development of intra-Mekong economic corridorssuch as the East-West and Southern Economic Corridors.

The effective andlong-standing affiliation between the Mekong region and Japan has helpedpromote potential and strengths of economies and create more favourableconditions for businesses of both sides, thus contributing the boostingsustainable and inclusive growth in the region, stated the PM. 

The Vietnamese Governmentleader held that cooperation potential between Japan and Mekong countries ishuge. He expressed his hope that Japan will continue promoting its role as apartner for “high quality development” in the Mekong region through making fulluse of the country’s strengths in technology and finance and the Mekongregion’s growth speed, market and labour.

In the future, theMekong-Japan partnership should prioritise three pillars of transportinfrastructure, energy; soft infrastructure such as institution, trade,investment and people connection; and people-to-people contact.

The two sides should focuson realising a joint vision on a green Mekong through projects and programmeson sustainable management and use of Mekong River water resources, smartagriculture and climate change response, he said, adding that Japanese andMekong enterprises are encouraged to engage in the process.

The PM asserted that theupcoming 10th Mekong-Japan Summit Meeting will open up a new chapter inbilateral partnership, matching the growth of the ties to potential and demandof both sides.

Regarding the Vietnam-Japancollaboration over the past 45 years, he highlighted that the two countrieshave become important partners of each other with many shared strategicinterests. 

Bilateral ties, which werelifted to an extensive strategic partnership for peace and prosperity in Asiain 2014, have grown strongly in all fields with closer economic connectivityand strengthened political trust.

Japan has been the biggestODA provider of Vietnam and the country’s fourth largest trade partner. In2017, Japan became the top foreign investor in Vietnam with total investment of9.1 billion USD, four times higher than that in 2016, he noted, emphasizing thegreat economic support between the two countries.

Defence, security, culture,education-training and tourism collaboration and people-to-people exchangebetween the two countries have also been expanded.

Currently, more than 260,000Vietnamese people are living, studying and working in Japan, becoming the fifthlargest foreign community in Japan. As many as 37 pairs of localities of bothsides have set up partnerships. Last year, Japan ranked third in the number oftourists to Vietnam with 800,000, while 300,000 Vietnamese travelled Japan.

The two countries have alsocollaborated closely at international and regional forums such as the UnitedNations, ASEAN Plus, APEC, and ASEM. They coordinated in promoting negotiationsfor and signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement forTrans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and talks on the Regional ComprehensiveEconomic Partnership (RCEP), while backing each other to become a non-permanentmember of the UN Security Council, and collaborating in regional andinternational issues of shared concern, thus contributing to building anAsia-Pacific region of peace, stability, development in line with internationallaw.

The PM said that he believesthat the Vietnam-Japan partnership will enter a new period of development andbecome more effective, stable and extensive.

After 30 years of reform,Vietnam has become a dynamic and internationally integrated economy, with tradeties with more than 200 countries and territories around the world. The countryhas signed and negotiated for 16 bilateral and multilateral trade deals withnearly 60 partners, including world powers.

In the coming time, Vietnamwill continue reforming comprehensively and integrating more deeply into theworld, raising its competitiveness for rapid and sustainable growth, he said,adding that Vietnam will give optimal conditions for foreign investors,including those from Japan, to become successful in Vietnam.

Vietnam welcomes Japanesefirms to invest in areas of Japan’s strengths such as high technology,infrastructure building, smart city, supporting industry, hi-tech agriculture,business restructuring, and green and renewable energy, as well as prioritisedareas stated in the Vietnam’s industrialisation strategy, stated the PM.

He underlined that thejoining of the CPTPP showed Vietnam’s strong commitments to continued reform,regional and international integration, and active engagement in sharingregional economic cooperation and connection frameworks for peace, prosperityand inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region, while opening up great chancesfor economic-trade cooperation with many important partners, including Japan.

CPTPP, a new generation freetrade area of high quality, balanced interests will be a motivation for Vietnamto continue strengthening reform, completing legal system, improving businessenvironment and raising competitiveness, contributing to fulfilling allsocio-economic targets.

Vietnam is striving tobecome one of the first six countries to ratify the deal, he said, revealingthat the National Assembly will consider approving the agreement at its sixthsession in October and November this year. Vietnam welcomes the expansion ofthe deal, he added.

Regarding the East Seaissue, he affirmed that the sea plays an important role in international trade,while serving as an existence and development space of coastal states. 

Countries in and outside theregion have implemented bilateral and multilateral cooperation activities invarious fields in order to maintain peace and stability in the area, he said,adding that relevant countries have also worked together to seek peacefulmeasures to deal with disputes and differences.

However, over the pastyears, the East Sea situation has witnessed many complicated developments,worrying the international community and requiring all parties to strictlyabide by international law, show willingness, exercise restraint, and not toconduct any actions that make the situation more complicated, while fully andeffectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the EastSea (DOC) toward the early signing of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea, hesaid.

PM Phuc stressed thatVietnam shares the viewpoint of ASEAN and the international community onpeacefully dealing with disputes in the East Sea in line with internationallaw, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, ensuring peace,security, safety and freedom of navigation and overflight in the sea.

Vietnam welcomes and sharesthe perspectives of Japan on the significance of diplomatic efforts for the promotionof full observance of international law and peaceful settlement of disputes, hedeclared.

The PM also voiced his hopethat Japan will continue showing its responsibility and role, together with theinternational community, to support and contribute to ensuring security, safetyand freedom of navigation and overflight, thus bringing prosperity to the EastSea and the whole Asia-Pacific region in general.

Source:VNA

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