Political News 9/10

Ho Chi Minh City leaders visit Japan

Senior officials from Ho Chi Minh City held talks with the Japanese President of the House of Councillors Masaaki Yamazaki as part of their visit to Japan to concretise the extensive strategic partnership between the two countries for peace and prosperity in Asia.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Le Thanh Hai, head of the delegation, expressed his belief that regular exchanges between legislative bodies contributed to the strengthening of the bilateral friendship, mutual understanding and across-the-board cooperation.

He thanked the Japanese Government for its official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam ’s economic restructuring, infrastructure development, and improvements to health, education, and climate change adaptation.

Hai said he hoped Japan would continue to provide ODA to Vietnam , and avowed that the country would utilise the capital effectively for socio-economic development plans.

He asked the President to assist Vietnam in the fields of ODA, human resources training, high-tech support for industry and agriculture, legislation, and international issues of mutual concern.

He also conveyed his wish that the Japanese parliament continue to support Vietnam’s stance on addressing maritime disputes via peaceful and diplomatic means, without the use or threat of force, in line with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

President Masaaki Yamazaki described Vietnam as one of the most attractive destinations for Japanese business due to its rapid economic growth and stable political system.

He promised to call upon Japanese firms to increase investments in Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, saying he hoped to visit Vietnam again to witness the country’s socio-economic progress.

The municipal delegation later participated in a conference to boost exchanges between Ho Chi Minh City businesses and Japanese partners. A ceremony witnessing the signing of six memoranda of understanding on bilateral investment and business cooperation was also held as part of the event.

Earlier, the guests visited a hi-tech agricultural research centre run by Japan ’s Chiba University to explore new cutting-edge technology in the field. They also attended the ceremony for the signing of the minutes on cooperation between the university and Ho Chi Minh City ’s bio-technology centre, in a joint effort to improve human resources training and share experience in urban agricultural development.

Secretary Le Thanh Hai also worked with Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Koya Nishikawa who said Japan was keen to support Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in developing agricultural projects for sustainable growth.

Vietnam contributes positively to ASEAN-EU ties: EU diplomat

As a coordinator of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Vietnam has contributed positively to the relationship between the bloc and the European Union, Ambassador Franz Jessen, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Vietnam, said on October 7.

Jessen spoke to the media about the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 10), which will be held in Milan, Italy from October 15-17.

He said he hoped the meeting would help boost European investment in Asia, especially in Vietnam.

In addition to the event’s main agenda, a number of bilateral meetings will take place between participating leaders, the diplomat said, adding that ASEM 10 would bring together 41 State and Government leaders from the two regions.

At this year’s summit, discussions will focus on linkages between the two regions to boost trade and develop tourism, he added.

According to the ambassador, since ASEM 5 was held in Vietnam in 2004, bilateral trade between Vietnam and the EU has grown significantly, reaching an average of 33 billion USD per year. The two sides have seen a two-digit increase in trade over the past three years.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will lead a delegation to participate in ASEM 10.

Prior to the meeting in Milan, the PM will visit Brussels, Belgium from October 13-14, where he is scheduled to meet leaders of the European Council, the European Commission and the European Parliament to discuss issues relating to economic ties and a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU.

HCM City, Ibaraki prefecture seek stronger ties

Chairman of HCM City’s People’s Committee Le Hoang Quan welcomed a 100-member delegation from Japan ’s Ibaraki prefecture, led by Governor Hashimoto Masaru, in Ho Chi Minh City on October 8.

Chairman Le Hoang Quan briefed his Japanese guests on the continuous cooperation between his city and Japanese localities, including Hyogo, Yokohama and Osaka .

The City leader expressed his belief that the visit would open up new business opportunities for Ibaraki prefecture and Ho Chi Minh City , contributing to enhancing the cooperation between the two countries.

On his part, Governor Hashimoto Masaru thanked Ho Chi Minh City ’s chairman for the warm reception and said that Ibaraki prefecture spared no effort in building a solid relationship between the two nations, with a focus on agricultural cooperation.

The guest also said Japanese businesses were keen to explore business opportunities in Vietnam.

Regarding Ibakari’s strength, Governor Hashimoto Masaru said his locality and Ho Chi Minh City could cooperate on scientific research, social welfare and cultural exchange. He also expressed his hope that Ho Chi Minh City’s leaders would create favourable conditions for Ibaraki prefecture to promote its cooperation with the city.-

President welcomes Asian, European musicians

President Truong Tan Sang received a delegation of international artists on October 8, who will perform in the Asia-Europe New Music Festival, the first of its kind in Vietnam.

The festival will be held in Hanoi and the northern province of Quang Ninh from October 8-13, featuring a number of concerts of all kinds of musical genres, ranging from symphony, orchestra, folk music and opera to choir and contemporary music.

Artists from Laos , Russia , France and the Philippines told the President their performances showcase the quintessence of contemporary music in each nation, its traditions and culture, thereby fostering global friendships.

The host said in full confidence that the festival would offer a deeper insight into Vietnamese traditional music, such as ceremonial and love duet songs, and Central Highlands gongs, all of which are recognised as world intangible cultural heritages, he added.

Starting in 1993, the festival was the product of the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Union of Composers of Russia and the Union of Composers of Tatarstan. Now in its tenth rendition, it has earned an international reputation and is highly praised by the music world.

The festival is a melting pot for hundreds of musical pieces by leading composers and performing artists, and a place for them to exchange professional experiences.

This year’s event, with artists from more than 30 countries spanning the two continents, is co-hosted by the Vietnam Association of Musicians; the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Popularisation and Education.

Japan keen to foster agricultural cooperation with Vietnam

Japan is willing to provide support and cooperate with Vietnam in the field of high-tech agriculture, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said on October 8 during a meeting with the Secretary of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee Le Thanh Hai in Tokyo.

Seko spoke highly of the city’s efforts to improve its investment climate in a bid to attract more Japanese investors, especially in the support industries.

Highly valuing the assistance Japan has given to Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City in particular, Hai proposed Japan continue to provide ODA to Vietnam and the city.

He also asked Seko to convey his appeal to Japanese businesses for more investments in the city’s areas of priority, including infrastructure, advanced technology, environmental protection, support industries and agriculture.

He also affirmed Ho Chi Minh City’s determination to create favourable conditions for Japanese enterprises to operate in the city in a stable and long-term manner.

On the same day, the Ho Chi Minh City delegation paid a courtesy call to Jsao Lijima, special advisor to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who reported that the Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Nishikawa Koya would soon visit Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City.

The special advisor also asked for the prompt implementation of cooperation projects with Vietnam and the city in the field of agriculture.

Briefing Jsao Lijima on the outcomes of his working sessions with Japanese agencies, Hai highlighted the vast potential for Vietnam-Japan agricultural cooperation, since Vietnam was in need of advanced technology applicable to its rapidly developing agricultural sector.

The affiliation will not only contribute to boosting the bilateral partnership, but also ensure food security and improve the standing of Vietnam and Japan in the regional and global arena, Hai said.

On October 8, Hai also worked with Japan’s National Police Agency and Fire Department to discuss ways to increase cooperation on fire fighting and prevention, and search and rescue efforts.

VFF president affirms Front’s role in promoting great national unity bloc

The Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) has promoted its role in strengthening the great national unity bloc in the new period, President of the VFF Central Committee, Nguyen Thien Nhan has affirmed.

Nhan was speaking during a meeting with voters in northern Bac Giang city on October 7 to receive comments and opinions by voters sending to the 13th National Assembly in preparation for the legislative body’s 8th session.

The VFF president also emphasised the Front’s function in exercising social supervision and criticism; focusing on a comprehensive programme of reviewing policy implementation for national contributors; monitoring legislation implementation on agricultural supply production; monitoring the legalities in private medical facilities, among others.

He also responded to voters’ comments and spoke highly of local government’s efforts in handling issues on insurance for workers in enterprises, unemployment among young people, and corruption prevention.

Voters suggested better preferential policies to care for national contributors, as well as promoting measures to tackle environmental pollution and ensure food safety, enhancing accountability of supervisory authorities in anti-corruption, and strengthening education management and innovation.

Later the same day, VFF President Nhan and delegates of Bac Giang provincial NA deputies held a meeting with local authorities to give comments on reports on the province’s socio-economic development and recommendations of Bac Giang to the NA upcoming session.

VN-Laos-Cambodia capitals’ armed forces forge ties

A get-together was held in Hanoi on October 8 to tighten the solidarity and friendship between the military forces of the capitals of Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia .

At the event, the trio agreed to continue holding friendly exchanges in turns to enhance their mutual understanding, contributing to fostering the friendship between the three capital cities and the three countries in general.

Lieutenant General Phi Quoc Tuan, Commander of the Hanoi Capital Military High Command, took the occasion to thank the armies of Laos and Cambodia for their valuable support for Vietnam during the past struggle for national liberation.


ASEAN-EU ties, Japan, agricultural cooperation