Following is the full text of the PM’s remark at the foundation.
“Excellency Mr. Klaus, Vice Chairman of the Koerber Foundation,
Excellencies German Parliamentarians,
Excellencies Ambassadors, Charge d’Affairs and representatives of diplomatic missions,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First and foremost, I would like to thank the Koerber Foundation forhonouring me with this opportunity to address this audience of leadingpoliticians and scholars of Germany on the challenges to peace, securityand development in the Asia-Pacific and the Vietnam-Germany StrategicPartnership within the Asia-Europe overall relations. Our meeting todayis hosted in such a place that incubates novel ideas and philosophies ondialogue for peace, cooperation and mutual understanding as what Mr.Koerber had longed for when he established the Foundation.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Peace, cooperation and development remain the prevailing trend. Theworld economy has overcome the crisis and is now recovering towardsustainable development. However, challenges and concerns do not seem tosubside as rapid, complex and unpredictable changes are taking placearound the globe. Increasingly serious threats have arisen from armedconflicts, territorial disputes, the use and threat of force, the riseof terrorism as well as non-traditional security challenges such asclimate change, epidemics, and water security, among others.
Inrecent years, the Asia-Pacific has emerged as an engine for globaleconomic growth and integration and a new economic and power centre thataccounts for nearly 55% of global GDP and plays significant role inshaping a future world order. The region, however, still faces manyproblems such as escalating tension in the Korean Peninsula, territorialdisputes in the East Sea and East China Sea, and especially trustdeficiency – the key factor that makes peace and stability in the regionnot as durable as we expect. Peace, security and development of theAsia-Pacific region, if being threatened and worsened, would inducenegative impacts and consequences worldwide. And an environmentconducive to peace, security and development in the region will bringabout happiness and welfare for us all.
These risks andchallenges call for close cooperation, high sense of responsibility andmuch effort from every state, region and the entire world. No singlestate, even the major powers, can afford to handle them alone. To ensuredurable peace and stability, we believe that the common responsibilityshould be shouldered and goodwill should be shown by all states. Eachcountry, big or small, apart from promoting their national interests,should also pay due attention to global common issues and legitimateinterests of others. This understanding is fundamental for countries tostrengthen friendship, promote cooperation mechanisms, build trust andresolve disagreements by peaceful means in accordance with the UNCharter and international law. Countries need to further uphold the roleof multilateral institutions and join hands to build a stable anddurable regional architecture that provides a basis and main impetus forcooperation and generates capacity to respond to challenges.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Vietnam is fully aware that its peace and development are closelyattached to peace and prosperity of the entire region. It is thereforeVietnam’s top priority to secure a peaceful and stable environment fornational development and improve people’s life. At the same time,Vietnam plays a responsible role in addressing the regional and globalchallenges.
Since the launch of reforms nearly 30 years ago,Vietnam has successfully transformed the planned economy into asocialist-oriented market economy and from a poor, less-developed, andwar-torn country into a middle-income and developing nation. In 25 years(from 1986 to 2010), Vietnam’s GDP growth rate averaged 7% per year.Even in the testing time of the global financial crisis and economicrecession, Vietnam still managed to sustain the GDP at the rate of 5.6%in 2011-2013. In 2014, our GDP is estimated to grow at 6% and GDP percapita is expected to exceed US$ 2,000. The macro-economic andsocio-political stability were maintained and social security wasensured. Furthermore, we have attained several UN MDGs ahead ofschedule. Vietnam continues to improve the rule-of-law state, stronglypromote people’s right to democracy and upgrade the market economy’sinstitutions. We are now speeding up economic restructuring,transforming growth model, enhancing productivity, efficiency,competitiveness and sustainable development in order to achieve anaverage GDP growth of 6-7% in 2016-2020.
Vietnam has activelyintegrated itself into the region and the world. In this course,economic integration is the focus and key driver. Vietnam has become aWTO member since 2007. So far, we have signed eight FTAs and we areworking hard to build the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. We are alsonegotiating six high-standard FTAs, in which the Trans-PacificPartnership (TPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) arethe most important agreements. Besides challenges, internationalintegration is opening up immense opportunities for Vietnam to promotedevelopment and reform, and engage more effectively in the globalproduction and value chains.
Today, Vietnam, as a responsiblemember, has actively participated in the work of the multilateralorganizations and forums like United Nations, ASEAN, APEC, ASEM, WTO. Wehave recently joined the UN Peacekeeping Operations, and been entrustedwith a number of key positions at the UN Human Rights Council and theIAEA Board of Governors. Circumstances and conditions today enableVietnam to move from the approach “active participation” to “taking theinitiative in designing and shaping the rules of the game”, and touphold its responsible role in regional and world affairs.
Wecontinue to pursue the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance,diversification and multi-lateralization of its external relations.Along that line, Vietnam is a friend and reliable partner of all nationsfor peace and development. We will spare no efforts to buildfriendship, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with allpartners, especially neighboring countries, ASEAN members, strategic andcomprehensive partners, and traditional friends.
It is VietNam’s consistent policy not to form alliance with one country againstanother. While firmly safeguarding our legitimate interests, weearnestly wish to work with other countries to build the strategic trust– a mutual and permanent trust, on the basis of the UN Charter andinternational law, respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty,territorial integrity, and peaceful settlement of disputes, equal andmutually beneficial cooperation for peace, stability, cooperation anddevelopment of the region and the world.
We welcome any policyof major powers on the Asia-Pacific region, which respects internationallaw and regional institutions without power politics, imposition,without infringing upon national independence and sovereignty, andpromotes equal and mutual-benefit cooperation for peace, security anddevelopment in the region.
As an active member of the ASEANCommunity coming into being next year, Viet Nam pays special attentionto the future of the regional architecture and ASEAN’s centrality. Thecurrent architecture is still evolving and in transition with variousmulti-layered mechanisms and forums such as the East Asia Summit (EAS),the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ MeetingPlus (ADMM+). To ensure lasting peace, security and development in theregion, Asia-Pacific needs a durable architecture with a set ofprinciples, rules and institutions that are feasible on the basis ofinternational law. In that architecture, ASEAN needs to continue withits central role in leading, connecting and building strategic trustbetween and among all relevant partners.
An issue thatrecently has drawn close attention is the complex developments in theEast Sea (a.k.a. South China Sea). Peace, stability, maritime securityand safety, and freedom of navigation and overflight in the East Sea arein the common interests of all countries both within and outside theregion. The East Sea now hosts the international trade route where asmuch as 50% of global shipments pass through, and most of them betweenEurope and East Asia. The recent instability and tension indicate thatsuch common interests can be only secured if all countries, especiallythe claimant states, seriously abide by international law, 1982 UNCLOS,and refrain from unilateral acts that further complicate the situation,refrain from the threat or use of force, fully implement the Declarationon the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and worktogether for early conclusion of the Code of Conduct (COC).
Building on the tradition of “peace and friendship” and its consistentforeign policy, Vietnam always pursues peaceful settlement of disputeson the basis of international law and regional norms of conduct. Whilereaffirming its position to firmly safeguard our sacred nationalsovereignty and territory in accordance with international law, we havealways exercised restraint in our attitude and actions, and used everyopportunity to de-escalate tension, restore trust, promote friendlycooperation and dialogues to find a fundamental and long-term solutionto the East Sea issue.
The world public opinion, manygovernments, international organizations, UN, EU, G-7 and ASEAN haverecently voiced their strong support for Vietnam’s righteous positionbased on international law on the East Sea issue. I would take thisopportunity to express the sincere gratitude to friends all over theworld, from Europe, including Germany, for your impartial andconstructive views that substantially contribute to peace and securityof the region.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Havingundergone the political and economic turbulences in Europe and theworld, Germany underscored its increasingly critical role at bothregional and global scales. Germany not only proves to be the leadingeconomic engine that has pulled the European economy out of crisis, butalso displays a central role in critical matters relating to politic,security and peace maintenance in Europe and the world. Vietnam supportsa powerful Germany that plays an active and responsible role inhandling matters of world peace, security and development.
Vietnam and Germany are distant geographically and different inhistorical and socio-economic backgrounds. However, our two peoplesmanaged to rise above difficulties to be able to live in peace anddevelopment and enjoy excellent friendship. The German peoplesupported Vietnam throughout the struggle for national independence,reunification and development. Our bilateral relations have been makingsteady progress, especially since the establishment of the StrategicPartnership in 2011. Next year, Vietnam and Germany will celebrate the40 th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The Strategic Partnership isevident in the regular exchange of high-level visits, dialogues atdifferent levels, substance and efficiency of our cooperation thatcovers all areas of economic, trade, investment, developmentcooperation, politics, diplomacy, defence and security, culture,education and training, science and technology, and people-to-peopleexchange, and also our close coordination at important multilateralforums including the UN, ASEM, ASEAN-EU.
Germany is now thebiggest trade partner of Vietnam in Europe as two-way trade turnoveramounted to nearly US$8bn, more than 20% of the Vietnam-EU trade figure.Germany is also among the biggest ODA donors to Vietnam. We welcomeinvestment inflows from Germany with “high-quality” FDI projects thatintroduce advanced, innovative, and environment friendly technologies.SIEMENS, Mercedes-Benz, B.Braun, Allianz, Bosch are some of the majorbrands that have operated in Vietnam. German universities are hostingmore than 4,000 Vietnamese students and research fellows. We have acommunity of over 100,000 Vietnamese in Germany, and more than 100,000Vietnamese who speaks German language in Vietnam, including generationsof German universities’ alumni. All of them have made importantcontributions to the prosperity of our two countries and our thrivingpartnership.
Today, Madam Chancellor Angela Merkel and I hadvery fruitful talks. We agreed on major directions for the strategiccooperation and concrete action plans to deepen and add efficiency tothe Vietnam-Germany Strategic Partnership. We will focus on five keyareas, namely strategic political cooperation; trade and investment;justice and legislation; development cooperation and environmentprotection; education, science and technology, culture, communicationand social exchanges. Vietnam will work closely with Germany to raisethe level of bilateral dialogues, enhance the substance of cooperationfor sustainable development, especially in areas where the two sideshave advantages and demands such as energy, green and cleantechnologies, manufacturing industry, public transport, finance andbanking, consumer goods, agricultural and fishery products.
Next year, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of theVietnam-Germany diplomatic relations and the 20 th anniversary of thesigning of the Vietnam-EU Framework Cooperation Agreement. I am glad tonote that every single stride in the Vietnam-EU relations bears the markof the Vietnam-Germany cooperation. Vietnam appreciates the goodwilland effort of Germany during the negotiation, conclusion andratification of the Vietnam-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement(PCA) as well as in the ongoing EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA)negotiations. On 13 October, in Brussels, Mr. Barroso- the ECPresident and I agreed on the direction for concluding Vietnam-EU FTAnegotiations with optimistic conviction for signing the agreement inearly next year.
The upcoming 10th ASEM Summit in Milan,Italy will discuss different issues of strategic cooperation betweenAsia and Europe as well as at global level. In that process, theASEAN-EU cooperation is the nucleus and engine of the Asia-Europecooperation. Closer cooperation between Vietnam, an active ASEAN member,and Germany, a key EU member will provide impetus for the growth ofcooperation between ASEAN and the EU, and between Asia and Europe forpeace, stability and prosperity of both continents. And this willopen up more opportunities for the Vietnam-Germany StrategicPartnership to flourish.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Earlynext year, there will be an exhibition of the photo contest sponsoredby the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). Visitors can see photosof two-generation or even three-generation Vietnamese families who usedto live, study, and work in Germany with emotional stories ofVietnam-Germany cordial friendship. Even in Vietnam, people can go tothe Goethe Institute in Hanoi and, in the near future, to the GermanHouse in Ho Chi Minh City to study German language and explore Germanculture. Others may go there simply to see again images of Germany wherethey once lived among the German friends. Those are powerful evidencesof the humane links between the ordinary and peace-loving people of ourtwo nations. This is also the foundation for the Vietnam-GermanyStrategic Partnership to thrive endlessly.
Thank you for your attention./.”-VNA
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