Vietnamese Party chief meets Chinese premier with trade on the cards

By VnExpress   January 13, 2017 | 10:05 pm GMT+7
Vietnamese Party chief meets Chinese premier with trade on the cards
Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with Premier of China's State Council Li Keqiang on Friday, January 13. Photo by Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam wants more access to its giant northern neighbor's market.

Vietnam’s Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with Premier of China's State Council Li Keqiang on Friday on the second day of his visit to the second largest economy in the world.

The two leaders discussed a range of topics, with economic cooperation one of priority discussions, the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) said in a report on Friday.

“The two sides pledged to create more favorable conditions for businesses to forge investment collaboration and quickly address obstacles so that firms from both sides can ensure the quality, progress and efficiency of joint projects,” the report said.

They agreed in the meeting that the trade imbalance should be addressed and legal procedures should be completed to open the Chinese market to Vietnamese agricultural produce.

Vietnam’s export value to China in the first 11 months of 2016 reached $19.6 billion, but the country imported $45.06 billion worth of goods in the same period, data from Vietnam Customs showed.

The two leaders noted the need to facilitate the establishment of Vietnamese trade promotion offices in China, with the first planned in the eastern province of Zhejiang.

Trong said Vietnam welcomes Chinese-invested projects that use modern and environmentally friendly technology, particularly those involved in agriculture, high technology, manufacturing and support industries.

Other areas suggested for further collaboration included transport, tourism and healthcare, the VNA said.

Trong and Li also discussed ways to use Chinese credit and non-refundable aid packages more effectively.

Trong is scheduled to wrap up his China visit on Sunday, January 15. He held talks with Chinese General Secretary and State President Xi Jinping on Thursday. The same day, they witnessed the signing of 15 cooperation agreements in various fields before attending a tea party, an unprecedented gesture made by China to a foreign official.

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