Government News 15/1

Former US Secretary of Commerce vows to contribute to Vietnam-US ties

Vietnam, Cambodia NA agencies look to foster collaboration, Preparations needed for taking over positions at multilateral forums: Deputy PM, Former US Secretary of Commerce vows to contribute to Vietnam-US ties

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh meets Carlos Gutierrez, former United States Secretary of Commerce and Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group 

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh hosted Carlos Gutierrez, former United States Secretary of Commerce and Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, in Hanoi on January 14.

At the meeting, Minh affirmed Vietnam attaches importance to its comprehensive partnership with the US, particularly in trade and investment.

Two-way trade hit 60 billion USD in 2018, bringing about practical benefits to both sides, he stated.

He emphasised that Vietnam has a policy of developing an independent, open and self-reliant economy and creating favourable conditions for foreign investors, including those from the US.

The policy has helped the country gain great achievements over the past years, he said, adding that Vietnam has signed and will ink a series of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, including the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which becomes effective on January 14.

He expressed his hope that the Albright Stonebridge Group will continue consulting US enterprises to expand their investments in Vietnam.

Carlos Gutierrez showed his impression with Vietnam’s rapid changes, especially in economics and infrastructure.

He affirmed to maintain his contributions to the development of US-Vietnam relations.

Preparations needed for taking over positions at multilateral forums: Deputy PM

Vietnam needs to quicken preparations for taking over the Chair of ASEAN in 2020 and the non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council in 2020-2021 tenure, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Chairing a meeting with other members of the Inter-agency Steering Committee for International Integration in terms of politics-defence-security in Hanoi on January 14, Deputy PM Minh, who is also head of the committee, stressed the country also needs to enhance the implementation of Directive No. 25-CT/TW on promoting and enhancing the role of multilateral diplomacy issued by the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat.

At the event, participants focused on evaluating the world and region’s situations, reviewing performance of the committee in 2018 and proposing measures and tasks for 2019. 

The Deputy PM highly spoke of crucial achievements in international integration politics, defense and security in 2018, which contributed to maintaining peaceful and sustainable environment for national development. 

Vietnam has established strategic and comprehensive partnerships and promoted relations more intensively with important partners. Diplomatic and defense-security activities have been launched positively. 

The Party and parliamentary diplomatic relations have been strengthened, making contributions to consolidating the nation’s political relationship with other countries, integrating new contents that bring benefits for the country in the bilateral relationship as well as agendas at multi-lateral forums such as water security, cyber security and climate change adaption. 

Minh asked the related ministries and agencies to promptly assess the world and region’s situations in 2019 and actively propose measures to effectively enhance international integration to protect and boost national interests.      

He suggested continuous promotion of the country’s ties with other partners more intensively and carry out diplomatic activities of Party and State leaders in 2019. 

The Inter-agency Steering Committee for International Integration in terms of politics-defense-security is one of three steering committees under the National Steering Committee on International Integration, which is headed by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. 

Vietnam, Cambodia NA agencies look to foster collaboration

Vietnam, Cambodia NA agencies look to foster collaboration, Preparations needed for taking over positions at multilateral forums: Deputy PM, Former US Secretary of Commerce vows to contribute to Vietnam-US ties

National Assembly (NA) General Secretary and Chairman of the NA Office Nguyen Hanh Phuc (R) meets Cambodian NA Secretary General Leng Peng Long 

National Assembly (NA) General Secretary and Chairman of the NA Office Nguyen Hanh Phuc met Cambodian NA Secretary General Leng Peng Long in Siem Reap, Cambodia on January 14.

Phuc, who is accompanying NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to Cambodia to attend the 27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-27), lauded Cambodia’s preparations for the event and appreciated the warm welcome of the Cambodia’s NA and Senate.

He expressed his belief that the APPF-27 will be a success, affirming the role and rising position of Cambodia in the regional and world arena.

Showing his delight at the growing partnership between the legislative bodies of Vietnam and Cambodia, he noted that the two sides are working together to realize the cooperation agreement signed in 2012 and regularly exchanging high-ranking delegations.

An agreement on cooperation signed in 2009 by Vietnam’s NA Office and Cambodia’s NA Secretariat created an important legal framework for their collaboration, said Phuc.

For his part, Leng Peng Long briefed his guest of the socio-economic situation of Cambodia and legislative work in 2018.

He said that in the future, the two sides should increase the exchange of research delegations to learn from each other’s experience in enhancing the capacity of supporting agencies.

Phuc and Leng Peng Long agreed that over the years, many practical cooperation activities have been carried out effectively, especially in the 2011-2015 period when the two sides completed a project to supply a computer system to the Cambodian NA Secretariat and Senate. Each year, Vietnam has helped Cambodia in personnel training.

Phuc pledged that Vietnam will continue supporting Cambodia in IT personnel training, including developing database management officials, and enhancing the capacity of trained officials.

Leng Peng Long told Phuc that Cambodia hold a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of victory over the Pol Pot genocidal regime on January 7, stressing that Cambodia highly values the support of Vietnam in the past and at the present and will continue working hard to promote the ties between the two countries.

At the meeting, the two sides also discussed measures to speed up the construction of the Cambodia National Assembly building – a gift from the Party, State and people of Vietnam.

Enforcement of grassroots democracy regulations reviewed

The Central Steering Committee for the implementation of grassroots democracy regulations held a conference in Hanoi on January 14 to review the work last year and set out new tasks for 2019.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam lauded outcomes of mass mobilisation work in 2018, particularly by administrative units.

To boost the implementation of grassroots democracy regulations in the coming time, he said it is necessary to boost administrative reform in an open and transparent manner.  

Listening to people’s opinions and promptly addressing their concerns should be a regular and effective work across localities, stated President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man.

He put forth a number of measures, including promoting reconciliation at grassroots level and the role of community-based inspection groups.   

Acknowledging participating delegates’ recommendations, Truong Thi Mai, head of the Party Central Committee’s Mass Mobilisation Commission and of the central steering committee, stressed the summary of the enforcement of grassroots democracy regulations last year by the Government, National Assembly, VFF, and the Mobilisation Commission have resulted in a comprehensive assessment on factors impacting the improvement of people’s living standards.

She pointed a series of matters that need to be improved this year, such as the increasing gap between the rich and poor and difficulties facing residents in mountainous, remote areas and on islands.

Highlighting the key role of policies in tackling these issues, she requested local authorities build good relations with residents, and listen to and facilitate the resolution of their problems.

Authorities at different levels should assist people in voluntarily joining the development process as an essential part and a driving force, she added.

All level authorities and party units ought to care for the people’s legal rights and interests and come up with mechanisms that help ensure their engagements in policy making and implementation, she said.

PM advises Dak Nong to focus on agriculture, tourism, mining

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has advised the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong to capitalize on its strengths in agriculture, tourism, and mining for its future overall development. 

The PM attended an investment promotion conference in Dak Nong on January 14 during his working visit to the locality. 

The conference brought together nearly 1,000 ministry and sector insiders, provincial officials, and delegates representing local and foreign enterprises. 

Dak Nong lies in the southwest exit of the Central Highlands, linking with Ho Chi Minh City and the southeastern region via highway 14, and Lam Dong and central coastal provinces via highway 28. It shares a borderline of 13 km and two border-gates with Cambodia.

It has over 120,000 ha grown with coffee, 32,900 ha with pepper plants, over 2,600 ha with avocado, and over 7,000 ha with sweet potato.

The province has two operating industrial zones covering a total land of 327.5 ha, and the over 800-ha Nhan Co 2 industrial zone which is being planned.

It has adopted policies for hi-tech agriculture and aluminum processing industry, and completed a dossier on Dak Nong geopark for submission to UNESCO’s recognition as a global geopark. 

In 2018, Dak Nong posted a GRDP growth rate of 8.21 percent with average income per capita reaching 45.24 million VND, and collected over 2.3 trillion VND for the State budget.

With such advantageous strengths and potential, Dak Nong wishes to draw more big economic groups to invest in the locality.

PM Phuc said Dak Nong should increase the growing of avocado, pepper, coffee, passion fruit, and macca trees given its 650,000 ha of fertile land. Investors need to work together with local people to promote the development of hi-tech and organic agriculture to raise the added value of products.

For tourism, the province should tap tangible and intangible heritages of over 40 ethnic groups residing there and mild weather, he said.

Mining, especially the production of bauxite, which has reserves of billions of tonnes, should be the other way for the locality’s development, he added, showing his delight at the initial success of the bauxite production project in Nhan Co. 

“To become rich and strong, Dak Nong needs to make the best use of its potential and strengths and have a bold mindset in investment,” he stressed.

The province should speed up administrative reform and train professional staffers to assist investors, he said, suggesting the locality using advantages in the business environment to make up for disadvantages in infrastructure.

The leader reminded the local authorities of developing trade, improving the quality of human resources, especially the public workforce helping them to have better management, and promoting the growth of private businesses.

He asked the province to well manage immigration and unregistered workers along with protecting the environment and connecting with other regions for mutual development.

“The Government is committed to creating all favourable conditions to develop infrastructure in Dak Nong and other localities ridden by difficulties. The Government will provide all possible conditions for investors to help them feel secured doing their business in localities,” the PM said.

At the conference, Dak Nong’s authorities handed over investment certificates worth nearly 2.7 trillion VND, and signed investment commitments with big economic groups with pledged investment capital nearing 48 trillion VND.

Courts urged to speed up judicial reform

General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Nguyen Phu Trong has stressed the need for courts at all levels to speed up judicial reform and improve the quality of judgment to minimise inaccurate verdicts and overlooking criminals.

Addressing the court sector’s teleconference on January 14 to review the implementation of its tasks in 2018 and since the beginning of the 2016-2020 tenure, as well as put forward main missions for the coming time, Trong hailed the sector’s efforts to carry out the Party and State’s resolutions on judicial reform.

Courts at all levels have actively participated in the fight against corruption, with many major cases brought to light, said Trong, who is also head of the Central Steering Committee for Judicial Reform.

He requested that the sector focus resources on Party building and the building of a civilized and progressive judicial system.

The cause of renewal, international integration, and sustainable national development is entering a new, but more complicated stage, posing a heavier task for Vietnamese courts.

The building of a strong and transparent court system is the responsibility of not only courts, but also the Party and State, he added.

He acknowledged the courts’ recommendations related to human resources, infrastructure, and policies, and pledged to assign authorised offices to resolve such issues.

Since the beginning of the 2016-2020 tenure, courts at all levels handled nearly 1.38 million out of 1.44 million cases received, or 95.9 percent. The rate of cases cancelled or revised due to court subjectivity decreased year after year, from 1.3 percent in 2016 to 1.2 percent in 2017 and 1.14 percent in 2018, thus meeting the target set by the National Assembly. 

NA Chairwoman arrives in Siem Reap for APPF-27

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan and the high-ranking delegation arrived in Siem Reap, Cambodia on January 14 to attend the 27th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-27) from January 14-16.

The trip is made at the invitation of President of the Cambodian National Assembly Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin who doubles as Chairman of the APPF-27.

The APPF was established on March 15, 1993, with the purpose of building trust among parliaments in the Asia-Pacific via the enhancement of dialogues between regional parliamentarians, thus contributing to regional peace, sustainability and prosperity.

It gathers 27 member parliaments: Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam.

Since becoming an APPF member in January 1995, the Vietnamese NA has actively participated in all activities of the forum with the first most special event being the hosting of the APPF-13 in January 2005 in Ha Long in the northern province of Quang Ninh.

Through APPF meetings, Vietnam’s legislative body made proposals and recommendations to step up coordination, contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and prosperity in the region, while expanding the forum’s ties with other inter-parliamentary organizations in the world.

At the APPF-26 in Hanoi from January 18-21, 2018, the Hanoi Declaration was adopted, setting forth a new vision for parliamentary ties towards 2030. It boosted the partnership between APPF and APEC to realize Asian-Pacific people’s aspiration about a region of peace and development.

Under the theme “Strengthening parliamentary partnership for peace, security, and sustainable development”, the APPF-27 will set priority on the goal of safeguarding peace, security and sustainable development.

Through their attendance at the APPF-27, Vietnamese parliamentarians continue performing their proactive involvement in multilateral parliamentary diplomatic activities, thus heightening the country’s role and position at this forum and joining in diplomatic efforts for peace, cooperation and development.

Ombudsman officials asked to reflect pressing issues precisely

Officials in charge of ombudsman work should precisely and quickly reflect voters’ aspirations and pressing issues, while further improving their supervision over the settlement of lodged petitions and denunciations in 2019, said National Assembly Vice Chairman Do Ba Ty.

He made the request at a conference reviewing works in 2018 and launching tasks for 2019 of the ombudsman board of the National Assembly Standing Committee in Hanoi on January 14.

He said the number of petitions and denunciations would increase and lodged issues would be complicated in 2019.

Meanwhile, the implementation of 2019’s tasks on making laws, supervision, and deciding important national issues require greater efforts from the ombudsman board as well as the National Assembly and its committees, he said.

He asked for better coordination and sharing of information between the ombudsman board, and the NA committees, ministries, sectors, and the Vietnam Fatherland Front in performing 2019 tasks.

In 2018, the board’s officials received 1,167 people and delegations who submitted a total of 1,037 cases. They received over 18,700 petitions, a surge of 38.77 percent from 2017, of which 1,239 petitions were eligible for handling, said deputy head of the ombudsman board Do Van Duong.

The gathering of petitions of voters before and after the NA’s sessions was carried out scientifically, openly and promptly, and the supervision over the handling of petitions was serious, he said.

As a result, all petitions sent by voters from the beginning of the 14th NA to date have been addressed to their deadlines while those which have yet to be handled will be informed about the time needed for processing, he said.

Border safeguarding needs participation of all: NA leader

Safeguarding the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security in border and sea areas is a strategic task that requires the involvement of all individuals and the whole political system, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said at a meeting in Hanoi on January 14.

The event, held by the Ministry of National Defence and the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFFCC), reviewed the implementation of the “All People’s Border Defence Day” during the 2009-2019 period.

Ngan emphasised that the national border and territory are sacred and inviolable which hold a strategic position with the utmost importance in terms of politics, economy, defence, security, and external relations.

Over the past few years, the Party and State have issued guidelines and policies for socio-economic development and defence-security consolidation to capitalise on resources specifically in border and sea areas. This local strength has served as the basis for developing the all people’s border defence, she said.

Ngan added that organising the “All People’s Border Defence Day” has been an effective policy, reflecting the Party and State’s profound attention to the building, management, and safeguarding of the national sovereignty and border security.

The parliament leader requested all-level authorities, sectors, agencies, and military units, officers, and soldiers consider the safeguarding of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security in border and sea areas as an urgent, but also long-term task.

She also asked the VFFCC, ministries, sectors, agencies, and localities to join hands in promoting activities that target these areas so as to help comprehensively build strong border and sea areas.

In his opening speech, VFFCC President Tran Thanh Man said the Party, State, ministries, central agencies, and localities have carried out numerous solutions to comprehensively develop border areas in terms of politics, economy, culture, society, and defence-security.

Campaigns have been implemented nationwide, thereby mobilising enormous support for border and sea areas, and enhancing civil-military relations, he noted.

Sen. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Trong Nghia, Deputy Director of the General Department of Politics under the Vietnam People’s Army, reported that ministries and central agencies have concertedly and effectively built, managed, and safeguarded the national boundary. 

They have also made suitable moves during the negotiation on and settlement of border-related issues, thereby firmly safeguarding the sovereignty and territory, and successfully handling complex issues with relevant countries, he said.

According to Nghia, the Vietnam-China and Vietnam-Laos borderlines have been clearly demarcated and planted with firm and modern border markers. On the Vietnam-Cambodia borderline, 265 of the 314 border marker positions have been located, and about 932.7km of the 1,137km border has been demarcated.

Many action programmes have also been launched to support poor people in border and sea areas, Nghia said, noting that they have built 7,000 houses and nearly 24,900 cows for the underprivileged, along with 300 public utility facilities for these areas. About 2,850 students with disadvantages in border areas have also been assisted, he added.

PM asks Dak Nong’s police to ensure safety during Tet holiday

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on January 14 checked the combative readiness of police in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, asking them to stay vigilant and ensure public safety is maintained during the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) festival. 

The leader lauded the efforts made by provincial public security forces in ensuring political security, and social order and safety throughout 2018, thus creating a safe environment for people and businesses, and stable conditions for the locality’s development. 

While in Dak Nong, he attended the inaugural ceremony of a memorial house dedicated to President Ho Chi Minh. 

Built within the headquarters of the provincial police, with funding raised by local police officers and donors, the house is a copy of the stilt house in Hanoi where the President lived during the last few years of his life. 

PM Phuc highlighted the cultural and educational significance of the house, saying it will serve as a venue for local police to study the ideology, morality, and lifestyle of the late President. 

The same day, the leader visited and presented gifts to a policy beneficiary family in Nghia Tan ward, Gia Nghia town.

Vietnam, Cambodia NA agencies look to foster collaboration, Preparations needed for taking over positions at multilateral forums: Deputy PM, Former US Secretary of Commerce vows to contribute to Vietnam-US ties

Vietnam, Cambodia NA agencies look to foster collaboration, Preparations needed for taking over positions at multilateral forums: Deputy PM, Former US Secretary of Commerce vows to contribute to Vietnam-US ties