Vietnam: Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Steps Up Coordination

At the invitation of Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son was in attendance for the OECD's 2024 Ministerial Council Conference held in Paris.

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At the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Ministerial Council Meeting, Vietnam’s Minister of Foreign Affairs gave a speech at the opening plenary session. The session’s theme was fostering an inclusive and sustainable economy and society.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son at the OECD’s Ministerial Council Meeting in Paris on May 2 and 3. Photo: TG&VN

Minister Son proposed that the OECD should lead the way in fostering global cooperation, specifically in the development of an international ecosystem of innovation that would leverage the dual trends of green transition and digital transformation, focusing on innovation, AI, and a just energy transition.

He added that mechanisms for knowledge sharing and capacity building must be established to assist countries in maximizing human potential, unlocking growth drivers, and promoting inclusive prosperity. He also encouraged OECD countries to provide financial, technical, and technological support to non-OECD countries for the implementation of strategic breakthroughs, particularly in human resources, infrastructure, and institutions.

The Vietnamese delegation participated in other significant activities during the meeting, including a ministerial dialogue of the Inclusive Forum on Carbon Mitigation Approaches (IFCMA) and an event discussing safe, secure, and trustworthy AI governance.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son proposed that the OECD collaborate with Vietnam to realize their cooperation goals during a meeting with OECD Secretary General Mathias Cormann, as reported by VOV.

FM Son called on the organization to continue its support of the 15 projects within the Vietnam-OECD action plan for 2022 to 2026.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son (left) and OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann. Photo: TG&VN

He requested that both parties enhance their partnership based on the memorandum of understanding (MoU) they had signed. He also suggested the OECD facilitate Vietnam’s ongoing integration into its specialized bodies. This should be done alongside helping Vietnam understand and contribute to the development of global governance policies, especially in finance, tax, economy, development, digital policies, investment, and science-technology.

The Minister presented Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s thank-you letter to the OECD, in which the leader expressed appreciation for the organization’s invitation for Vietnam to attend the MCM, as well as its support for the country’s co-chairmanship of the OECD’s Southeast Asia Regional Programme (SEARP) for the 2022 to 2025 period.

Established in 1960, the OECD currently comprises 38 members, primarily being developed countries. Its objective is to enhance economic cooperation and policy coordination among member countries on economic and development issues.

Since 2007, the OECD has actively promoted cooperation with Southeast Asia, considering the region a strategic priority.

Cormann highly valued Vietnam’s role and its active and responsible contributions to the SEARP, saying that he was willing to work with Vietnam to identify the specialized bodies that could help it seize global trends and standards in service of its development policies.

During the meeting, Minister Son also met with Assistant Minister for Trade and Assistant Minister for Manufacturing of Australia Tim Ayres, during which the Vietnamese official suggested that the two sides complete the action programme soon to implement the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries.

This would create a solid foundation for them to deepen their collaboration across various fields, particularly economics, trade, investment, agriculture, education-training, and labor, while also expanding cooperation in emerging areas such as the green economy, energy transition, and digital transformation, he said.

The Assistant Minister suggested that Australia continue its official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam in terms of climate change response and human resources development.

Assistant Minister Ayres highlighted coordination between the two countries as SEARP co-chairs for the 2022 to 2025 period, affirming Australian support for Vietnamese efforts in enhancing its relationship with the OECD.

He also expressed support for the cooperation project between Vietnam, Australia, and Laos, expressing his hopes for stronger ties with Vietnam in all fields.

On May 3, Minister Son met with his Japanese counterpart Minister Kamikawa Yoko, where he called on Japan to increase its investment in Vietnam in new areas like semiconductors, and assist Vietnam in joining its regional supply chain.

He also proposed that the two countries strengthen their ties in culture, people-to-people exchange, labor, and personnel training.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son and his Japanese counterpart Kamikawa Yoko. Photo: TG&VN

Minister Yoko stated that Japan supports the initiatives, orientations, and priorities proposed by Vietnam to promote cooperation with the OECD, and agreed to strengthen ties between the two countries at multilateral forums like the OECD and ASEAN.

Japan will continue its assistance to Vietnam in industrialization and modernization in the new context, she pledged.

As part of his working trip, Minister Son visited the headquarters of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) in Paris, where he met with Louise Mushikiwabo, secretary general of the OIF.

The Minister said Vietnam consistently supports the OIF’s efforts in fostering cooperation for peace and development worldwide, and noted that Vietnam will attend and actively contribute to the 19th Francophonie Summit scheduled for October in France.

Mushikiwabo emphasized that the OIF values Vietnam’s role and position within the Francophone community, and promised to assist Vietnam in strengthening its economic, trade, investment, and tourism ties with French-speaking countries in a sustainable manner.

The OIF will therefore strive to enhance cooperation with Vietnam in terms of spreading the language and providing French language training for Vietnamese peacekeeping forces, she said, affirming the organization’s readiness to admit Vietnamese officials to work at its Secretariat.

During the OECD’s Ministerial Council Meeting, the Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs also met his Peruvian counterpart Javier Gonzalez Olaechea, Moroccan Minister of Economy and Finance Nadia Fettah Alaoui, Lithuanian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Simonas Satunas, and Lao Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Saleumxay Kommasith on May 2.

Hannah Nguyen