Vietnam sees good changes in foreign affairs

Mr. Nguyen Nhu Hieu, Director of the Department for Local Diplomacy Facilitation under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam, there have been good changes in international cooperation amongst Vietnam’s localities and foreign countries’ peers.

At the 21st National Foreign Affairs Conference

He made the statement at the 21st National Foreign Affairs Conference with the theme ‘Promoting the pioneering role of foreign affairs to serve sustainable development of localities’ held yesterday in Hanoi within the framework of the 32nd Diplomatic Conference.

Addressing the conference, Director Nguyen Nhu Hieu affirmed that international cooperation at the local level has been raised in both quantity and quality.

For instance, in the past 3 years, localities have signed 422 international agreements with foreign localities/partners/enterprises, an increase of 111 percent compared to the previous period. Economic diplomacy promotes its role as an important driving force for the rapid and sustainable development of localities.

Moreover, according to him, foreign investors poured a total of US$ 48.2 billion as foreign direct investment (FDI) from 2021 to 2023 up 22 percent compared to the previous period. Foreign-invested companies are located in all provinces countrywide.

Cultural diplomacy - the exchange of ideas, information, art, language and other aspects of culture among nations and peoples in order to foster mutual understanding- is focused on, contributing to the enhancement of Vietnamese cultural values to the international community.

Meanwhile, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Belgium Nguyen Van Thao who is also the Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to the European Union (EU), to effectively promote trade and investment, localities need to determine and choose their outstanding products as well as build promotion data based on local economic development with the consultation of representative agencies. Last but not least, localities should understand their business partner's needs.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son affirmed that foreign affairs in localities have greatly contributed to the country’s overall achievements in foreign affairs. Over the past time, local foreign affairs work has been implemented more proactively, actively, and synchronously with innovations and more effective approaches in many aspects.

Furthermore, localities have carried out border-related tasks, helping consolidate the country’s border lines in a peaceful and friendly way in addition to cooperation development. Economic diplomacy of most localities has been deployed more strongly and effectively.

He added that in 2023, exports of Ho Chi Minh City, Bac Ninh, Binh Duong, Thai Nguyen and Hai Phong exceeded the total export turnover of the country 10 years ago. Cultural diplomacy in localities continues to flourish with 13 titles recognized by UNESCO in the past 3 years and many heritage files being considered by UNESCO.

The position of Vietnam today has been raised in many aspects nowadays. Localities need to determine a new mindset in relations with international partners based on equality, mutual benefit, and inter-regional and inter-sectoral approaches. He emphasized that sustainability is a top criterion in diplomacy.

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