Viet Nam Supports ASEAN-China Trade Ties

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stated yesterday that Viet Nam will join ASEAN member countries and China to establish an ASEAN-China free trade area.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (2nd,L) at the fourth the ASEAN-China Trade and Investment Summit

The Vietnamese government leader made the statement at the fourth ASEAN-China Trade and Investment Summit taking place in Guangxi province, China.

“The ASEAN-China free trade area that we are working to set up will be the largest free trade area in the world in terms of population,” PM Dung said.

“It will bring tremendous opportunities for both parties and create a driving force for economic growth of the entire region in the future”.

“I hope ASEAN and China will soon conclude negotiations, especially those relating to the ASEAN-China Investment Agreement, so they can advance in liberating the commodity and service sectors and create an investment environment favorable for both sides.”

The Prime Minister said the agreement will not only provide favorable conditions for ASEAN and Chinese investors but also maximize the region’s attractiveness to investors from all corners of the world.

“ASEAN and China have maintained a close cooperation and traditional friendship and the two have made strong progress in their multi-faceted ties along with making enthusiastic contribution to peace, stability, cooperation and prosperous development in each ASEAN member country, China and the Asian region as a whole,” PM Dung said.

“The value of ASEAN-China two-way trade rose more than 25 percent last year to reach 141 billion USD and I believe the value will reach 200 billion USD in 2008.”

The PM also highlighted the role and contributions of the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Yunnan province to trade and investment ties between the ASEAN group and China and said he hoped these localities will do more for the future development of their country and the Southeast Asian region.

He went on to say that Guangxi and Yunnan provinces, as bordering ASEAN member countries on land and water, are important in boosting cooperation between China and ASEAN and their development will directly impact on the region’s economic growth.

He stated that Viet Nam will act as an important bridge for ASEAN and China and will work to bolster trade ties between the two parties and between ASEAN and Guangxi and Yunnan provinces in particular.

The PM said that Viet Nam has maximized its role and accelerated cooperation in economy, trade and investment with other ASEAN member countries, reporting that Viet Nam’s trade with ASEAN countries fetched more than 20 billion USD in 2006, a rise of nearly 40 percent over 2005, and accounting for one-fourth of the country’s foreign trade.

Concurrently, the Viet Nam-China two-way trade value was 10.7 billion USD in the past nine months and is expected to post a yearly value of between 13 - 14 billion USD this year, Prime Minister Dung noted.

He expressed his confidence that economic, trade and investment cooperation between Viet Nam and China will take new steps forward and contribute to the growth of the ASEAN-China economic, trade and investment ties.

When the “two corridors, one economic belt” project, two express highways and two railway routes between Viet Nam and China are put into use, the transportation between the two countries will be improved, helping lift economic ties, trade and investment between the two countries and between ASEAN member countries and China.

The Prime Minister said this will help foster the dynamic development of each ASEAN member country, China and the entire region.

“The economic link between ASEAN and China will be a strong driving force in speeding up peace, stability and prosperity for each ASEAN member country, China and the Asia-Pacific region as a whole,” the Prime Minister concluded.

Source: VNA

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