As a keynote speaker during a discussion session on ASEAN strategic prospects on January 24 morning, Hue said major political and economic changes in the region and the world along with technological advances have been and will continue to impact ASEAN and its members in many ways. Therefore, ASEAN needs to continue upholding its central role in regional cooperation mechanisms, implement the plan to build the ASEAN Economic Community and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity while pushing forward with practical cooperation in science-technology, digital infrastructure, e-commerce, education-training, facilitation of skilled workers’ movement and tapping economic deals with partners in and outside the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (left) and permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son

Vietnam pledges to continue working with ASEAN member nations and partners in the above-said fields, making responsible contributions to promoting dialogues, solidarity, unity and strengthening ASEAN’s central role, he stated.

The day before, in his opening speech at the ASEAN night banquet on January 23, Hue underscored the need to improve training-education and fuel innovation to catch up with the industrial revolution 4.0, which is pushing labor restructuring and movement through extensive automation.

He said as host of the APEC Year 2017, Vietnam and regional members adopted a number of initiatives, vision and strategic orientations towards inclusive development, regional economic connectivity, cross-border e-commerce facilitation and human resources improvement in digital era.

In 2017, the Vietnamese economy recorded the highest growth in a decade with improved competitiveness and business climate, marching towards prosperity and inclusive development together with ASEAN community, he said.

On the sidelines of the WEF, the Vietnamese Deputy PM held several bilateral meetings with foreign government and business leaders.

Meeting Prime Minister of Peru Mercedes Aráoz, Deputy PM Hue suggested the two countries continue to facilitate all-level visits, maintain regular meetings of the Inter-Committee on Economic-Trade and Investment Cooperation mechanism, and soon launch the political consultation mechanism.

He asked the Peruvian government to provide support for Vietnamese business operations in the country, back Vietnam’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure, and recognize Vietnam as a market economy.

Talking with the Vietnamese leader, Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag stressed Vietnam is an important political and economic partner of the Netherlands and wished to reinforce bilateral strategic partnership in the fields of water resources management and agriculture.

She said the Netherlands backs the early signing of the Vietnam – European Union Free Trade Agreement and will send a business delegation to Vietnam to seek opportunities in water resources and agriculture.

In a conversation with WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, Deputy PM Hue asked for the WEF’s coordination in deciding the theme, agenda and participants of the WEF -ASEAN 2018 slated for September in Hanoi.

Schwab said the WEF is actively implementing the Vietnam – WEF cooperation agreement, particularly in infrastructure, investment in the form of public-private partnership (PPP), trade and manufacturing industry. He hoped that more and more Vietnamese firms will cooperate with WEF in the future.

During meetings with executives from HSBC, Google, BAE System, Marsh&Mc Lennan, SK and Carlsberg, Hue stressed that the Vietnamese government always creates favorable conditions for foreign enterprises to do long-term business in Vietnam and join the country’s economic restructuring in combination with renewing growth model.

He also asked the groups to attend the WEF ASEAN 2018 in Hanoi.

The executives described Vietnam as an important market and expressed wish to do long-term business in the country.

In the afternoon the same day, Hue attended the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders that discussed financial mobilization for sustainable development.

Source: VNA