Reforming external relations work to serve national development

(VOVworld)- The 29th Diplomatic Conference opens in Hanoi on Monday. Taking place after the 12th National Party Congress and amidst opportunities and challenges at home and abroad, the conference will discuss ways to reform external relation activities to serve national construction and defense.
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The conference is themed “Improving external relations activities and international integration and realizing the 12th National Party Congress’ guidelines on external relations work.” The conference will review Vietnam’s external relations activities over the last five years and set out tasks for the years to come.

Diplomacy contributes to realizing socio-economic development goals

During Vietnam’s 30 years of renovation and especially during the tenure of the 11th Party Committee from 2011 to 2015, Vietnam’s external relations were expanded rapidly. In addition to strengthening its relationship with traditional friends, Vietnam set up partnerships with major countries in the region and the world bringing about economic, trade, investment, political, defense, security, and cultural benefits. Vietnam has set up economic and trade ties with 224 countries and territories. From 2011 to 2015, Vietnam’s total goods and service turnover reached 1.4 trillion USD, doubling the figure of 2006-2010. During this period, total Foreign Direct Investment totaled nearly 60 billion USD, 33% higher than the figure from the previous five years. In the last five years, the foreign affairs sector has mobilized 36 other partners to recognize Vietnam’s status as a market economy, bringing the total to 59.

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said:“Over the past years, Vietnam has strengthened international integration, not only economically but comprehensively. Vietnam has signed several free trade agreements, promoted defense and security cooperation, and participated in UN peacekeeping operations. Vietnam plays an important role in international organizations like the UN Human Rights Council and ASEAN.”

Vietnam’s diplomatic activities have also contributed to defending national sovereignty, both terrestrial and maritime, and its national security. In the face of recent complications in the East Sea, Vietnam applied a flexible foreign policy utilizing political and diplomatic means and has all channels of dialogue and contact to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the same time, Vietnam has taken every opportunity to reduce tension and restore trust, promote friendship and cooperation, and enhance dialogue to find fundamental and long lasting solutions.

For the sake of the national interest

The achievements of the diplomatic sector are prerequisites for Vietnam to enter a new era of development. But Vietnam’s rapid integration has created pressures on its culture, society, and environment. The 12th National Party Congress defined two major directions for Vietnam’s external relations work to serve national development. They include improving external relation activities and implementing proactive strategies and international integration. To realize these tasks, the 29th Diplomatic Conference aimed to mobilize the whole sector’s efforts and wisdom to find ways to serve national construction and defense more effectively and to further improve Vietnam’s international prestige. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said:“The diplomatic conference will focus on measures to realize Vietnam’s primary tasks in the coming years. They include maintaining a peaceful and stable environment by expanding relations with other countries based on the national interest and increasing international integration. We need to change our mindset in serving economic growth and accompany enterprises and the people in international integration”.

The diplomatic sector will seek to work closely with the defense and public security forces in protecting Vietnam’s national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, along with ensuring the living environment is peaceful and stable for Vietnam’s development and its socialist regime.

Anh Huyen