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Vietnam, China underscore need for substantive cooperation

Vietnam, China underscore need for substantive cooperation

Saturday, June 29, 2024, 08:37 GMT+7
Vietnam, China underscore need for substantive cooperation
Vietnam and China are set to deepen and expand their cooperation across the board. In this photo, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and a Vietnamese delegation meet with China’s President and General Secretary Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, June 26, 2024. Photo: Ngoc An / Tuoi Tre

Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh and China's President and General Secretary Xi Jinping underlined the importance of substantive and effective cooperation in order to bring fruitful results to the people and businesses of the two countries during their recent talks in China.

The two top officials held talks in Beijing on Wednesday as part of PM Chinh’s trip to China to attend the 15th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting of the New Champions and working sessions with Chinese officials from June 24 to 27.

They agreed that both nations would further deepen and elevate their comprehensive strategic partnership and build the Vietnam-China community with a shared future.

The call for deep and substantive Vietnam-China cooperation is evident in PM Chinh’s request that China soon sign a protocol and complete procedures needed for opening its doors to Vietnam’s frozen durians, fresh coconuts, and other agro-aquatic products.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit), told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that durians account for a significantly large portion in Vietnam’s fruit and vegetables exports to China.

Vietnam shipped an estimated US$1.2-1.5 billion worth of durians to China in the first half of 2024.

According to the Vinafruit general secretary, China imports some $6.7 billion worth of fresh durians and more than $1 billion of frozen durians, with Thailand being the largest supplier of frozen durians.

China’s signing of the protocol would enable Vietnam’s frozen durians to tap into the Chinese market with the 1.4-billion population before approaching other source markets in the U.S. and the EU, Nguyen said.

Local farm produce exporters have adopted various practices and expanded their business scale to meet requirements of the demanding Chinese market, he continued.

If China opens its doors to frozen durians from Vietnam, the latter’s durian export turnover could rise by some $300 million, Nguyen predicted.

He added that Vietnam’s outbound sales of fruit and vegetables in China has kept an upward trend, rising from $1.6 billion in 2022 to $3.6 billion in 2023, and an estimated $3.5 billion in the first half of 2024.

Nguyen Van Toan, vice-chairman of the Vietnam's Association of Foreign Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), paid significant attention to PM Chinh’s call for leading Chinese enterprises to invest in railway projects in Vietnam at the time when both countries are accelerating their transport infrastructure connectivity in railways.

Toan argued that the Vietnam-China investment ties had yet to match their potential in the previous years during which Chinese businesses invested in small-scale projects with obsolete technology.

Moreover, there are still concerns over ineffective projects developed by Chinese investors in Vietnam.

But significant changes took place recently when many major Chinese companies with advanced technology explored the possibility of investing in Vietnam, adding that China has emerged as a country with well-developed and cost-efficient infrastructure projects.

This will open up opportunities for Vietnam to leverage its strengths to call for more Chinese investors to develop high-quality railway and road projects linking the two countries, Toan elaborated.

Pham Sao Mai, Ambassador of Vietnam in China, was impressed by a growing number of all-level delegation exchanges between Hanoi and Beijing over the past year, expressing his hope that the exchanges would help promote bilateral cooperation.

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Hong Ngan - Ngoc An / Tuoi Tre News

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