The Hanoitimes - On August 10, the Vice Chairman of the Bangkok City Council, Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul visited and worked at the Hanoi People’s Council. The delegates from Bangkok were welcomed by the Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Council, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tuan and leaders of other departments and agencies of the City.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Council sent greetings to the Vice Chairman of the Bangkok City Council, considering the trip as highly important, particularly during the 50-year anniversary of the establishment of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In addition, the trip followed the visit plans of leaders from the two cities in order to reinforce the cooperation between the two sides.
The Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Council, Mr. Nguyen Ngoc Tuan affirmed that Hanoi values the cooperative relationship with ASEAN members including Thailand. This is an important factor affecting the stability and peace of not only the areas but also the whole world. As a result, the Hanoi People’s Council and the Hanoi City have signed many memorandum of understanding with Bangkok in 2001 and 2004, which focus on culture, health, urban planning, investment and governmental management. Moreover, Mr. Tuan introduced with the Thailand delegation that Hanoi is the cultural and political center of the nation. During the past years and the first six months of 2017, Hanoi has witnessed many great transformations. The growth rate in 2016 and the first six months of 2017 ranged from 8.5 to 9%. In the last six months, Hanoi will strive to complete other goals, including enhancing the investment in and solving any difficulties of enterprises. With regard to investment attraction, in 2016, Hanoi has successfully attracted 6 billion USD. In the first months of 2017, the amount reached 9 billion USD.
Vice Chairman of Hanoi People's Council Nguyen Ngoc Tuan welcomes Vice Chairman of Bangkok city council Nirunde Pradtikul and delegation.
Unfortunately, the investment between Hanoi and Bangkok is still modest. The export and import situations have not received outstanding results. In particular, export from Hanoi to Thailand only reached 280 million USD, while import was around 1 billion USD. With regard to foreign investment cooperation, Thailand has 63 projects in Hanoi with the total investment at 308 million USD, still very modest in comparison the total investment of 26.5 billion USD. Notably, the cooperation between the two countries is crucial within the block, and the cooperation between the two capitals has particularly critical meanings. The Vice Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Council hopes that Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul as the Vice Chairman of the Bangkok City Council and other delegates will reinforce the cooperation between the two cities to generate more profits. Especially, the exchange of information between two cities on governmental management and other urban issues which the two cities have in common holds many important values.
Thankful for the warm welcome from Hanoi People’s Council, Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul said, Hanoi and Bangkok have signed the MOU for 16 years. However, the cooperation was mainly between specific working groups, but not yet taken place between leaders of the two capitals.
The two leaders exchange souvenirs and gifts.
Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul invited leaders from the Hanoi People’s Committee and People’s Council to visit Bangkok in September or October to discuss preparation for the meeting of ASEAN cities leaders.
On the other hand, Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul also expressed his delight on the development of Hanoi, with the growth rate exceeding the averages of ASEAN cities. At present, Bangkok focuses on transport infrastructure development, with a view to make it more convenient for people of ASEAN countries to travel. The Vice Chairman of Bangkok city council also informed of building highways connecting Yunnan, China to Bangkok, and in the coming time there will be highway connecting Bangkok to Vietnam. Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul said, with the development of ASEAN and ASEAN +3 (ASEAN with China, Japan and South Korea), countries members should specialize in fields they have advantages of, so that they can efficiently contribute to the development of the whole region.
Sharing the same view with Mr. Nirunde Pradtikul, the Vice Chairman of Hanoi People’s Council stated transport infrastructure development to connect countries is very important. It is also an international trend toward socio-economic development, especially for tourism. At present, Hanoi and Vietnam is putting effort on tourism development, in the first 6 months of 2017, tourists coming to Hanoi is 2.4 million, an increase of 19% in compared with 2016.
Mr. Tuan said with all the discussion today, Hanoi People’s Council will report back to the city leaders and the government to increase cooperation with Thailand.
At the end of the meeting, both two leaders have exchanged gifts and souvenir to each other.