Vietnam Advancing Economic Ties with Thailand, Urging Comprehensive APEC Connectivity

10:09:49 AM | 11/29/2022

The official visit to Thailand and attendance to APEC 2022 by Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his spouse and senior Vietnamese officials wrapped up with a great success, opening a new chapter in Vietnam-Thailand cooperation, and proving that Vietnam always responsibly and actively promotes comprehensive APEC connectivity and ensures fairness and sustainable development.

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (R ) welcomes President Nguyen Xuan Phuc 

The joint statement on the official visit to Thailand is considered to open a new chapter in bilateral cooperation, a move toward the 10th anniversary of the Vietnam-Thailand Enhanced Strategic Partnership in 2023. With APEC 2022, Vietnam continued to put forth highly feasible proposals, promoting fully connected economies, economic recovery and sustainable development, and offering an important step toward implementation of the Aotearoa Plan of Action on APEC Vision to 2040 where Vietnam is an initiating member.

Thailand hosted a solemn welcome ceremony. Despite being busy with APEC 2022, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his wife welcomed Vietnamese President Phuc at the airport, a special and historic ceremony in the bilateral relationship. During the welcome ceremony at the airport, the host country fired a 21-round gun salute. A formal welcoming ceremony was held at the Government Building of Thailand.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc had a busy schedule on his two-day official visit to Thailand with 20 events including talks with Thai Prime Minister, greetings to the King of Thailand, meeting with the President of the National Assembly, meeting with the President of the Vietnam-Thailand Friendship Association, meeting with 350 businesses of Thailand and Vietnam, meeting with some business leaders of Thailand, and attendance to the opening week of Vietnam Goods Week in Thailand. Central agencies and localities also have many bilateral cooperation programs in Thailand.

Importantly, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha agreed to step up cooperation for celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Enhanced Strategic Partnership. Particularly, the two sides agreed to strengthen the "Three Connects" Strategy: supply chain connectivity; business and locality connectivity; and sustainable growth connectivity. Thai Prime Minister said that the visit of President Nguyen Xuan Phuc ushered in a new era of comprehensive partnership.

The host emphasized that Thailand and Vietnam are economically important countries in the region, both by scale and by development potential. Thailand and Vietnam agreed to reinforce their close economic partnership to speed up socioeconomic recovery in both countries and in the region. The two sides also developed trade, investment, transportation and digital economy. Vietnam and Thailand also agreed to coordinate in implementing a more convenient and faster form of electronic payment for exchanged goods and services, remove trade obstacles and foster import and export to third countries, with care given to agricultural products, industrial parts, equipment and medicines.

President Phuc affirmed that the two sides will strive to bring the two-way trade to the target of US$25 - 30 billion by 2025 in a more balanced and sustainable direction; and facilitate cargo and service circulation. Besides, the two sides will facilitate companies of the two countries to strengthen investment and business cooperation, even in new fields such as digital economy, green growth and sustainable development. The important cooperation of infrastructure connectivity, agriculture, development assistance, labor, culture, tourism, business, people-to-people and local diplomacy will be core contents of the Vietnam -Thailand Strategic Partnership. As many as 19 localities of Vietnam and Thailand, and Khon Ken and Da Nang provinces, signed cooperation agreements.

At the end of the official visit by President Phuc, the two sides issued a joint statement with the message “Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Vietnam - Thailand Strategic Partnership: Opening a New Chapter of Stronger Strategic Partnership for Peace, Stability and Mutual Prosperity and five cooperation documents on the implementation of Enhanced Strategic Partnership in 2022-2027.

After his official visit to Thailand, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the 29th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting themed “Open. Connect and Balance.” The Economic Leaders of APEC met in-person for the first time in four years and released the Joint Declaration on Bio-Circular and Green, a strategic new growth after the pandemic.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc (first row, 6th from right), VCCI President Pham Tan Cong (first row, 4th from right), and other delegates at Vietnam-Thailand high-level business meeting

Escorting President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the trip, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said senior leaders of 21 economies conveyed a very strong message of cooperation, dialogue and multilateralism. APEC leaders also exchanged strategies key to overall APEC development in the new stage of development: (1) ensuring free flows of regional trade and investment; (2) comprehensive connectivity between economies in hard, soft, digital infrastructure and human connectivity; and (3) successful transition to a balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth model. There is a high consent to requirements for a new, more balanced and comprehensive approach to regional development.

Invited to deliver keynote speeches to many sessions, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc actively proposed many initiatives and emphasized a peaceful, stable, prosperous and sustainable Asia-Pacific. He said APEC members need to act for the common good of the community, to safeguard APEC achievements and values over the past three decades. As Asia-Pacific enters a new stage of development, APEC needs to take the lead in fostering a balanced, inclusive and sustainable growth model and supporting successful green and digital transformation economies. Accordingly, it is necessary to ensure an open, transparent and non-discriminatory trade and investment environment, and couple trade and investment with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; and train human resources, especially high-quality workers.

Specially, President Phuc and other APEC members agreed to create more communication channels to narrow differences and maintain high consensus in APEC. This is considered an important enabler of the success of APEC Summit.

Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said Vietnam shared new ideas and views on development trends and approaches for APEC in the current challenging period. Vietnam’s initiatives, introduced by President Phuc to many gatherings, were highly appreciated by partners. We also shared Vietnam's experiences in economic recovery and development as well as green transformation, digital transformation and important policies.

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends a high-level seminar with the U.S.-APEC Business Alliance for Competitive SMEs

On the sidelines of APEC 2022, President Phuc hosted many bilateral meetings and contacts with APEC economic leaders like China, the United States, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, Canada, France, Chile and Peru. He also had meetings with the Crown Prince, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia and Head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The leaders highly appreciated Vietnam's roles in APEC and many international and regional forums and intended to promote bilateral cooperation with Vietnam.

Definitely, the official visit to Thailand and attendance to APEC 2022 by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, his spouse and senior Vietnamese officials wrapped up with a great success, opening a new chapter in Vietnam-Thailand cooperation and proving that Vietnam always responsibly and actively promotes comprehensive APEC connectivity and ensures fairness and sustainable development.

Escorting President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on the trip to Thailand, Mr. Pham Tan Cong, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and President of ABAC Vietnam, said that the business atmosphere of Vietnam and Thailand is very good now. We witnessed very exciting bilateral business meetings besides scale and participation. In his message on national development, economic growth and political stability, he called for the Thai business community’s participation. They are discussing bringing their investment projects into Vietnam. Thailand is considering investment into some industries while Vietnamese companies are working hard to widen their presence in Thailand. Shortly after President Phuc suggested organizing the Vietnam-Thailand business meeting, nearly 100 Vietnamese companies registered for participation in a week.

Source: Vietnam Business Forum