Sunday, 17 Dec 2017

Vietnam's international integration gained numerous achievements

Updated at Tuesday, 03 Jan 2017, 09:55
The Hanoitimes - Foreign friends have been impressed by Vietnam’s expanded integration in international institutions and its bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. Vietnam`s international integration process has really gained a lot of achivements.
Thanks to its correct integration policy, Vietnam has established its diplomatic relations with 187 countries out of 193 members of the UN. It has built a network of strategic partnerships with 15 countries and comprehensive partnerships with 10 countries, including 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council. 

At the 29th diplomatic conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said: “We have established relations with many countries. Over 15 years, strategic or comprehensive partnership relations have been established. Within only 5 years, an additional 8 countries became Vietnam’s strategic partners.”

Vietnam’s admission to ASEAN in July 1995 was a milestone in Vietnam’s integration process. Vietnam joined the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) one year later and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in 1998. The country’s membership of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in January 2007 marked Vietnam’s full integration in international institutions. In 2015, Vietnam and other ASEAN members formed an ASEAN Community. 

Former UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam, Pratibha Mehta, said at the 29th diplomatic conference  “I think the integration agenda of Vietnam is very strategized and clear. It’s pursuing integration very strategically and systematically. Vietnam is globally integrated. It’s already integrated in ASEAN and has joined so many groups like APEC. It has many robust agreements. Vietnam has the peacekeeping forces and has set up peacekeeping training centers. These are every important indications of the desire to prove Vietnam’s responsibility to the world community”.

Vietnam has signed 12 Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with 56 countries. Danish Ambassador to Vietnam Charlotte Laursen applauded Vietnam’s international integration. She said “I think we have, over the past year, seen a steady growth in Vietnam’s integration with the world economy. If I should mention some highlights, I think, one of the important ones is the conclusion of the FTA with the EU. The one one would be the global climate agreement in Paris. I think finally, it’s worth mentioning the summit of the international parliamentarians hosting in Vietnam. As far as I know, it’s the biggest international meeting in Hanoi ever. Vietnam is taking the next step in its foreign policy from an active member to an active contributor to global integration”.

Vietnam was a member of the UN Human Rights Council and the UN Economic and Social Council in the 2014-2016 term. Vietnam also joined the UN peacekeeping force and the International Law Commission. Being a member of the UN Human Rights Council for the past 2 years, Vietnam has gained experience in effective human rights protection.

 Vietnam’s Ambassador to the UN Nguyen Trung Thanh said “We have been actively working with the Council and related parties who are interested in human rights protection. Thanks to this interaction, Vietnam has directly contributed to bilateral relations, particularly with friends, strategic partners, and comprehensive partners, so building trust and strengthening connectivity.”

Ambassador to Kuwait Nguyen Hong Thao was the first Vietnamese person to be elected to the UN International Law Commission in November this year. He said Vietnam has taken a step forward during its international integration process.  “Vietnam’s candidacy to the International Law Commission matched the foreign policy of the Party and State, which spells out Vietnam’s integration in economics, culture, society, and law. This shows that our country is more self-confident and competent in taking both national and international responsibilities.”, Mr Thao noted. 

During its 3 decades of international integration, Vietnam has gained numerous economic results. The nation has expanded trade ties with 155 countries and attracted direct investment from 70 countries and territories. 88 bilateral FTAs have been signed, expanding trade ties to 220 markets. In 2016, Vietnam signed bilateral FTAs with South Korea, the EU, and the Belarus-Kazakhstan-Russia Customs Union. Vietnam also signed the Transpacific Partnership Agreement with 12 regional partners.

With the completion of 15 FTAs by 2020, Vietnam will become an important link in a chain of 56 economies, including 18 APEC members. Vietnam’s export markets have been expanded to 230 countries and territories. Export grew by 22.6% from 2011 to 2013. Deeper international integration has promoted Vietnam’s prestige and competitiveness. Vietnamese products have established trademarks in the world market. 

Young entrepreneurs have also played an imported part during the integration process. Vietnam’s integration has helped to promote its socio-economic developments and raised Vietnam’s prestige in the world arena, which laid a firm base for its future success.

Vietnam has enhanced its stature worldwide while pursuing its national interests in an increasingly interactive world, seizing opportunities for national economic development, and dealing with risks in international relations. Vietnam has proved to the world that it is a reliable friend, a trusted partner for all countries, and a responsible member of the international community.
By Anh Kiet
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