PM’s visit to Saudi Arabia creates breakthrough in seeking new cooperation opportunities: official

By VNA   October 22, 2023 | 03:11 am PT
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip to Saudi Arabia to attend the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council (ASEAN-GCC) Summit has created a significant breakthrough in searching for new cooperation opportunities and expanding the market for Vietnamese goods and services.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the airport in Saudi Arabia on October 18, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Nhat Bac

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh at the airport in Saudi Arabia on Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Nhat Bac

In particular, the working trip opened up new collaboration chances in such fields as investment, trade, energy transition, sustainable growth, supply of skilled labor, Halal industry, agro-fishery exports, and tourism, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Do Hung Viet told the local media.

The diplomat said the trip, lasting from October 18 to 20, was a success, achieving and surpassing its set objectives. It actively implemented the foreign policy set at the 13th National Party Congress with an emphasis on strengthening relationships with other countries, exploring new directions for expanding economic cooperation to serve sustainable development and highlighting Vietnam's pivotal role within regional and global multilateral forums and mechanisms.

According to Viet, the visit has opened up new opportunities for cooperation between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, as well as other GCC member countries. The PM engaged in 20 diverse activities, achieving concrete results across various aspects.

The Vietnamese delegation played an active and significant role in the overall success of the first-ever ASEAN-GCC Summit, with PM Chinh delivering an important speech, stressing the significance of the summit as it set the stage for great expectations for both sides to work together toward peace, cooperation, and mutual development.

For Saudi Arabia, this first visit by a high-ranking Vietnamese leader to the nation after 13 years is of great importance, paving the way for capitalizing on cooperation opportunities between Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries. In talks with the Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia and bilateral meetings with the leaders of GCC member countries, Vietnam demonstrated its determination to enhance collaboration in a more substantive and effective manner in various spheres.

During the exchanges, countries appreciated Vietnam's role and position, its leadership role, and the future development prospects of the Vietnamese economy. They believed that there is still much room for joint works with Vietnam, and that Vietnam can attract significant investments and enhance cooperation in traditional fields and such new areas as digital transformation, green transition, energy transition, and climate change response, among others.

Countries also expressed their readiness to enhance trade with Vietnam, open markets for Vietnamese agro-forestry products, and help Vietnam develop the Halal industry. In addition, labor cooperation is a highlight, including the employment of highly skilled Vietnamese workers in large projects in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Finally, there is a need to promote cooperation in tourism, increasing connectivity, cultural exchange, and people-to-people interactions between Vietnam and the Gulf nations.

Notably, Saudi Arabia's 620 billion USD Public Investment Fund has committed to allocating more resources to large infrastructure development projects in Vietnam. Many Saudi Arabian conglomerates have confirmed their intent to consider expanding investment activities in the Southeast Asian nation in sectors such as steel, precast steel, retail, agriculture, clean energy, as well as their aspiration to enlarge their business networks to ASEAN countries through Vietnam.

During the visit, in conjunction with the successful organization of the Vietnam-Saudi Arabia Business Forum, the sides signed five cooperation agreements in the fields of judicial affairs, diplomacy, crime prevention, tourism, and trade promotion. These pacts aim to improve the legal framework and favorable conditions for cooperation between the two countries in the time to come.

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