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Vietnam attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
2/6/2017 8:58' Send Print
President Tran Dai Quang attends and speaks at the First Roundtable of the Belt and Road Forum. Photo: VNA

Participating in the forum were top leaders from 29 countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Pakistan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, Kenya, Chile, Argentina, among others; the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the World Bank, and the Director-General of the International Monetary Fund. The high-level delegation of the Vietnamese Party and State was led by President Tran Dai Quang.

In his opening speech, Chinese Party General Secretary and President Xi Jinping pledged to increase its investment including an extra 100 billion yuan (US$14.5 billion) into the Belt and Road initiative. According to the National Development and Reform of China Commission, since 2013, China’s investment relating to the initiative has reached $60 billion since 2013, and most of China’s foreign investments in future will be to countries participating in this project.

According to China, when completed, the Belt and Road initiative will create a large commercial and economic network with extensive development potential covering a population of 4.4 billion people, a gross domestic product (GDP) $21 trillion (30% of global GDP) and can generate over $2.5 trillion worth of trade over the span of a decade and link up with emerging markets with strong growth potential.

At the forum, leaders of the countries and international partners emphasized the importance of bilateral, triangular, regional and multilateral cooperation in the context that the world economy is undergoing profound changes, presenting both opportunities and challenges, thereby welcoming the Belt and Road initiative. Experiences and achievements gained in relation to the practical implementation of the initiative were introduced at the Forum. Participating countries and international partners exchanged views on the objectives, principles and measures for cooperation in the coming time.

With the theme "Belt and Road: Cooperation for Common Prosperity," ministers, businesses and academicians attended the roundtable - the most important activity of the Forum held on 15 May 2017 with the participation of Chinese President Xi Jinping and nearly 30 Heads of State, Government and leaders of many international organizations, including the Secretary General of the United Nations, President of the World Bank (WB) and Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

At the Roundtable, the leaders of the Belt and Road Forum adopted a Joint Communique promoting the spirit of peace, cooperation, openness, transparency, mutual benefit and mutual respect and expressed willingness to work together through the Belt and Road initiative in conjunction with other interconnected initiatives to promote international cooperation. The main principles for cooperation are set out: consultation on an equal footing: honoring the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law including respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries; mutual benefit while striking a good balance among economic growth, social progress and environmental protection...

The Joint Communique also mentioned cooperation measures in the areas of transport, trade, science and technology, environment protection and people-to-people exchanges in an open way for countries to consider. These measures includes strengthening of policy dialogue, enhancing infrastructure connectivity, supporting small and medium enterprises to deepen their participation in the regional and world value chains, facilitating trade and investment, protecting biodiversity and natural resources, responding to climate change, cooperating in education, science, technology, culture, sports, tourism, healthcare and media.

Implementing the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization, diversification, proactive and active international integration, Vietnam has actively participated in Forum activities and the process of document preparation.

At the forum, President Tran Dai Quang delivered speeches in both Leaders Roundtables in both morning and afternoon of 15 May with the topics: Policy Synergy for Closer Partnership and Connectivity Cooperation for Interconnected Development. Vietnam hailed the initiatives for economic and regional connectivity in general, the Belt and Road Initiative in particular to promote multinational, interregional and intercontinental economic connectivity when the world is increasingly interconnected and interdependent with interwoven opportunities and challenges.

In his speech, President Tran Dai Quang pointed to major orientations for achieving sustainable and effective cooperation in the common interests of nations, emphasizing the need for cooperation in close association with the implementation of the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, in harmony with existing regional and global mechanisms, ensuring sustainability and efficiency, meeting the needs for development of countries and regions, complying with the United Nations Charter and international law on voluntary basis for mutual benefit.

On this occasion, the President shared Viet Nam's experience and contributions in promoting economic linkage, regional connectivity, and the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Vietnam’s contributions were highly appreciated by the conference and many contents were reflected in the Joint Communique.

During the visit and while attending the Forum, President Tran Dai Quang also had a series of bilateral contacts with senior leaders from Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, Argentina, Chile, Pakistan, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Switzerland, Hungary, Serbia and others.

At the meetings, the President discussed with leaders of these countries measures to further promote bilateral cooperation as well as to enhance coordination effectiveness in multilateral forums, contributing to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world. The leaders highly appreciated Vietnam's achievements in recent years, affirming the importance of Vietnam's role and position in the region and the desire to further promote multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam. Many leaders applauded and supported Vietnam to successfully organize the 2017 APEC Year.

It can be said that, at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Tran Dai Quang clearly demonstrated the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralization, proactive, active international integration of the Party, and State of Vietnam. The diversified and substantial activities at the Forum of President Tran Dai Quang and the Vietnamese delegation affirmed Viet Nam's goodwill and role in expanding international cooperation and connectivity for peace, cooperation and development in the region and in the world.

Thuy Linh