Vietnam News Today (Feb. 23): Vietnam – Important Partner of EU

Vietnam News Today (Feb. 23): PM pushes for close ties between Vietnam and China; Vietnam – important partner of EU; Vietnam presents 25 tonnes of goods as relief aid to earthquake hit Turkey; Vietnam, India boost trade in farm produce, processed food.

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Vietnam News Today (Feb. 23) notable headlines

PM pushes for close ties between Vietnam and China

Vietnam – important partner of EU

Vietnam presents 25 tonnes of goods as relief aid to earthquake-hit Turkey

Vietnam, India boost trade in farm produce, processed food

Number of flights, passengers rises sharply in two months

Vietnam, China’s Hainan province strengthen trade ties

Border gates in Lang Son in full swing

Another Vietnamese firm launches branch in Cuba

HCM City recommended to further improve investment environment

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R)  receives Shen Xiaoming, secretary of the Hainan Provincial Party Committee, in Hanoi on February 22. (Photo: VGP)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (R) receives Shen Xiaoming, secretary of the Hainan Provincial Party Committee, in Hanoi on February 22. (Photo: VGP)

PM pushes for close ties between Vietnam and China

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on February 22 underlined the importance of the Vietnam – China comprehensive strategic partnership in Vietnam’s foreign policy during a reception for Shen Xiaoming, secretary of the Hainan Provincial Party Committee.

He proposed that both sides effectively realize high-level perceptions reached during General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s official visit to China late last year. He expected the two sides would strengthen visit exchanges, promote cooperation in all fields, especially trade, investment and tourism, and maintain peace and stability in the East Sea in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The PM also proposed that Hainan increase cooperation with Vietnamese ministries and localities, including Ho Chi Minh City and Quang Ninh province, in the fields of tourism, transportation, education, health and cultural exchanges, as well as in climate change response, search and rescue at sea, and humanitarian treatment with fishermen, contributing to maintaining peace, stability and cooperation at sea.

Secretary Shen for his part affirmed that Hainan attaches great importance to and is ready to strengthen cooperation with relevant Vietnamese ministries, sectors and localities, cited VOV.

He said Hainan would coordinate closely with relevant Vietnamese ministries, agencies and localities to boost bilateral cooperation, by soon recovering flights and sea tours to Vietnam, soon establishing the Vietnam Trade Promotion Office in Hainan, and increasing the import of Vietnamese agricultural products.

Vietnam – important partner of EU: EP Foreign Affairs Committee

The Chair of the European Parliament (EP)’s Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister has affirmed Vietnam is an important partner of the European Union (EU) and noted his wish for stronger cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.

Speaking at a press conference in Jakarta on February 22 on the occasion of his visit to Indonesia and Vietnam from February 20-24, McAllister lauded the achievements Vietnam recorded in cooperation in trade, investment, environment, and energy.

The EU appreciated Vietnam’s support for the EU-ASEAN relationship, he said, highlighting the Vietnamese delegation’s constructive engagement in the ASEAN-EU Summit commemorating the 45th anniversary of their relations in Brussels, Belgium, last December, according to VNA.

Illustrative image (Source: vneconomy.vn)
Illustrative image (Source: vneconomy.vn)

The EU and ASEAN share commitments to multilateralism and rules-based international order, McAllister said.

He reiterated that the EP supports ASEAN’s efforts in seeking solutions to the crisis in Myanmar, and calls on the country’s military authorities to seriously observe the Five-Point Consensus agreed upon by ASEAN leaders.

The EU is steadfast in its view on the need to ensure the rule of law in the East Sea, as well as the vital importance of ensuring peace, stability, security, and freedom of navigation in the region, he affirmed.

McAllister noted with pleasure the growing economic and trade ties between the two sides, saying the EU is ASEAN’s third biggest trade partner, after the US and China, and the second foreign investor in the 10-member grouping.

Given challenges regarding climate change, the EU is working hard to assist ASEAN member countries to shift towards greener and cleaner energy, he said.

Vietnam presents 25 tonnes of goods as relief aid to earthquake-hit Turkey

The rescue force of the Vietnam People’s Army on February 21 handed over nearly 25 tonnes of goods including dried food, rice, milk, medical equipment and other necessities to Turkey to help it overcome the consequences of the recent deadly earthquake.

The handover ceremony was held at Hatay Stadium in Antakya, the capital of Hatay province which was one of the Turkish localities badly affected by the earthquake. Hatay is also the locality where rescue force of the Vietnam People’s Army has undertaken the rescue mission.

Present at the ceremony were Vietnamese Ambassador to Turkey Do Son Hai, Ambassador Hakan Cakil who represents the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the National Coordinating Agency of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

Addressing the ceremony, Major General Pham Van Ty, deputy chief of the Office of the National Committee for Incident and Disaster Response, Search and Rescue, expressed hope Turkey would soon overcome the consequences of the recent earthquake.

Representatives of the Vietnamese rescue force and the National Coordinating Agency of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) at the handover ceremony.
Representatives of the Vietnamese rescue force and the National Coordinating Agency of the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) at the handover ceremony.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Hakan Cakil expressed his deep gratitude for the support of the Vietnam People’s Army in recent times, noting the donation would contribute to helping the Turkish people overcome difficulties and losses.

Medical supplies donated by the Vietnamese side will be quickly delivered to local hospitals and medical support centers to support the treatment of patients affected by the earthquake, he said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on February 20 visited international rescue workers, including those of the Vietnam People’s Army who were taking part in a rescue mission in earthquake-hit Hatay province.

The President thanked the rescue forces of Vietnam and other countries for their tireless efforts to support search and rescue after the earthquake disaster in Turkey, reported VOV.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tremors rocked Turkey and Syria on February 6, killing more than 48,000 people, mostly Turkish people.

The Ministry of Public Security decided to dispatch a 24-member contingent of police officers to Turkey to assist with rescue work there. The contingent of police officers accomplished the mission and returned to Hanoi on February 19.

The Ministry of National Defence later also decided to send 76 soldiers and officers to support recue work in Turkey. The rescue force is scheduled to return to Hanoi on February 23.

Vietnam, India boost trade in farm produce, processed food

The Vietnam Trade Office in India, in collaboration with the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India (Invest India) and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) held a teleconference on February 22 to step up business cooperation opportunities in farm produce and processed food.

Speaking at the event, Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Hai said the food processing sector accounts for 32% of the total food market and 14% of the manufacturing industry’s GDP of India. The sector is expected to draw 33 billion USD in investment in the next decade.

Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Hai speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)
Vietnamese Ambassador to India Nguyen Thanh Hai speaks at the event. (Photo: VNA)

With a population of over 1.4 billion people, India is a promising market for Vietnam’s farm produce and processed food. Meanwhile, several kinds of India’s farm produce and processed food are likely to be sold well in Vietnam such as seafood, chili, spices, fruits and vegetables, he added.

Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said during 2021-2022, Vietnam’s farm produce exports to India reached 351 million USD, accounting for 1.3% of India’s total farm produce imports, a modest figure.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit) Dang Phuc Nguyen said more Vietnamese farm produce target meeting VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.

He suggested both nations open their markets for fruits and vegetables and sign bilateral trade deals to facilitate trade in farm produce, cited VNA.

Vietnamese Commercial Counsellor in India Bui Trung Thuong wished that firms would continue joining trade exchange and market introduction programs, particularly the upcoming event with the India state of Kerala on March 8 in the fields of agriculture, seafood and services.

In terms of agro-forestry-aquatic product trade, Vietnam is running a deficit with India, with 473.8 million USD in 2021 and 687.73 million USD in 2022.

Number of flights, passengers rises sharply in two months

The number of flights and passengers has skyrocketed in the first two months of this year, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV).

The number of flights topped 78,800 in the period, up 62.3% over the same period in 2022.

The passenger volume through airports reached 19.7 million between January and February, an increase of 91.5% year-on-year. Of the figure, 4.7 million were foreigners, a year-on-year increase of nearly 2,000%, while the number of domestic visitors saw an increase of 48%.

Meanwhile, cargo reached 168,000 tonnes, a rise of 28.2% compared to the corresponding period of last year.

Passengers check in for their flights at Noi Bai International Airport (Photo: Vietnam Plus)
Passengers check-in for their flights at Noi Bai International Airport (Photo: Vietnam Plus)

Vietnamese airlines transported 9.8 million passengers and 42,500 tonnes of cargo, an increase of 91.9% and a decline of 14.2%, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that this year international passenger transport and domestic transport may reach 80% and 95% of 2019’s figures.

For Vietnam, the domestic aviation market had fully recovered by the end of last year while the international market is gradually recovering and expected to have reached the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2023, it said.

The IATA also predicts that Vietnam’s airports will handle a total of 80 million passengers and 1.4 million tonnes of cargo, up 45% and 15% year-on-year, respectively.

Rosie Nguyen