International integration serves the nation’s development

A Party Central Committee member has affirmed the value of proactive international integration to serve the country’s industrialisation, modernisation, construction and defence in the new stage while speaking at the ongoing 11th National Party Congress in Hanoi on Jan. 14.

Pham Binh Minh, who is also Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister, said external activities over the past five years were synchronously carried out, harnessing the strength of the Party’s foreign affairs, State and people-to-people diplomacy.

International integration linked foreign activities with the expansion of political, economic and cultural ties, harvesting great achievements and contributing to maintaining peace and stability, taking advantage of favourable international conditions for national construction and unceasingly raising Vietnam’s international position.

“We moved international relations into a new depth, stability and sustainability by developing a comprehensive strategic partnership with China, increasing the significance of the strategic partnership with Russia and establishing strategic partnerships with Japan, India, the Republic of Korea,  the United Kingdom and Spain,” he said.

Vietnam also continued to strengthen and intensify comprehensive cooperation with Laos and Cambodia, as well as improve the multifaceted relations with ASEAN member countries, he added.

Regarding relations with other major partners like the United States and the European Union (EU), Vietnam ’s external affairs saw new steps of development.

The relations with Cuba and other traditional friendly countries were also renewed and promoted.

Vietnam was extremely proactive in international economic integration, becoming a member the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – the largest economic and trade organisation in the world – and accomplished a new level of participation in regional and international organisations.

Vietnam also participated in bilateral economic and trade agreements, he said, adding these ties increased the country’s participation in international economic cooperation forums and frameworks.

Over the past five years, total registered Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) exceeded 150 billion USD, seven times higher than that in the 2001-05 period. Committed Official Development Assistance (ODA) was over 31 billion USD, three times higher than the previous period. Exports continued growing.

“We obtained outstanding achievements in multilateral diplomacy, fulfilling the role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 term with Vietnam-imprinted contributions,” he said.

Vietnam successfully played a proactive and responsible role as ASEAN Chair in 2010.

The country gained historical achievements in ensuring territorial security. Regarding border issues, Vietnam completed the demarcation and planting of markers along the common land borderline with China .

With the signing of a protocol on demarcation and planting of border-markers, agreements on border management regulations and border gates and border gate management, Vietnam and China ended 35 years of negotiations on the issue, creating a basis for building a borderline of long-lasting peace, friendship and stability.

“We exerted efforts to carry out projects on the upgrade of national border markers with Laos , and closely work with Cambodia in demarcating and planting of border markers, striving to accomplish the issues by 2012.”

On the East Sea, Vietnam submitted to the UN its report on the outer limits of its continental shelf, actively implemented cooperation agreements with countries on joint anti-piracy patrols in the Tonkin Gulf and reached an agreement on fisheries as well as an agreement on demarcation of the Tonkin Gulf with China . The country accelerated the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and fought activities violating sovereignty, borders and territorial waters.

“These results made positive contributions to defending the country’s sovereignty, territorial security and interests,” he affirmed.

Outstanding achievements in foreign affairs over the past five years originated from the soundness of an external policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, cooperation and development, advocating openness, diversification and multilateralisation of international ties, with orientations to bring relations into a deep, stable and sustainable manner, proactive international integration for economic cooperation and expand ties to other fields.

These achievements were results from joint efforts of the Party, State, National Assembly, ministries, agencies and localities under the leadership of the Party.

He highlighted the foreign affairs thinking development, saying that they are orientations on “active and proactive international integration” and guideline on “synchronous and comprehensive implementation” of external activities, performing the task of maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, conducive to the country’s sustainable development in order to turn Vietnam into a modern industrialised country by 2020.

To implement the external policy of the 11th National Party Congress, Minh mentioned the following proposals:

First, grasp thoroughly the guidance on international integration in a proactive and responsible manner, focusing on actively and proactively catching opportunity, effectively creating and taking advantages and dealing with challenges from the process of integration.

Promptly develop a comprehensive strategy on international integration with specific goals and roadmaps for each stage, particularly until 2020 in the immediate term and in the areas of economic development, defence, security and social culture.

Quickly raise the nation’s overall strength, an essential condition for the success of international integration. This requires good performance of the Party-building work and consolidation of the national unity and solidarity, including the community of more than 4 million overseas Vietnamese. This task also means to raise competitiveness and the resilience of the economy in face of international upheavals, increase defence and security potential, gradually achieving international cooperation in security-defence and regional and international security mechanisms.

Secondly, carry out the guideline on “synchronous and comprehensive implementation” of external affairs orientations adopted by the 11th Congress, stepping up the unified management of external activities. Improve coordinating efficiency of external activities of the Party, State, National Assembly, localities and people-to-people diplomacy, as well as coordination between branches, channels and agencies at all levels involved in external affairs.

During the process, diplomacy should work as a comprehensive sector with three pillars – political diplomacy, economic diplomacy plus cultural diplomacy and oversea Vietnamese-related affairs. Defence and security diplomacy needs to be developed extensively and intensively.

Thirdly, along with the implementation of new diplomatic orientations and guidelines, it is necessary to carry out major orientations of the external policy in the renewal stage, especially the direction on “upgrading established diplomatic ties to a profound, stable and sustainable plane”.

“Looking back on the great achievements of the renewal process in general and diplomacy in particular in recent years, we firmly trust in the intelligence and political firmness of our Party,” he said./.

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