The Prime Minister’s Europe visit: Symbol of comprehensive diplomacy

Having a busy schedule of nearly 90 activities, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s first working trip to Europe was a great success. It demonstrated comprehensive and modern diplomacy of Viet Nam.
Thủ tướng Phạm Minh Chính phát biểu tại Hội nghị Thượng đỉnh khí hậu trong khuôn khổ Hội nghị COP26. (Nguồn: TTXVN)
Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh delivers his remarks at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). (Photo: VNA)

The extremely busy schedule was probably the first impression of anyone who followed the news on the high-level trip of PM Pham Minh Chinh to attend the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and visit the United Kingdom and France from October 31 to November 5.

Conveying strong message

COP26 Conference was one of the most important international events that drew the interest of the international community, in the context that climate change has been evolving in a very complicated, unpredictable way while its impact has been strongly felt on a global scale.

Viet Nam is one of the countries heavily affected by climate change. PM Pham Minh Chinh’s participation in this conference was of great importance because it served as an opportunity for the international community to understand clearly Viet Nam’s policies and efforts, as well as its difficulties and challenges in responding to climate change.

The spirit of proactiveness and positivity could be clearly seen through the profound messages expressed in the remarks by PM Pham Minh Chinh at the conference, especially the commitment to achieving net emissions of zero by 2050, joining the Global Methane Pledge and the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use.

During the visit, PM Pham Minh Chinh had more than 20 bilateral meetings with high-level leaders of countries such as the UK, the US, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, India, Thailand,… as well as the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), the President of the European Commission (EC). At these brief meetings, the leaders expressed their cordiality, openness and shared their views on specific and substantive issues which have potentials for cooperation in the coming time.

Deepening bilateral relations

Apart from participating in COP26, PM Pham Minh Chinh paid visits to the UK and France - Viet Nam's strategic partners and members of the UN Security Council and G7 Group.

Despite the tight schedule of the COP26 Conference, both the British Royal Family and the government spared their time for the Vietnamese leader and attached great importance to relations with Viet Nam.

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince Charles, the First Ministers of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had separate meetings with PM Pham Minh Chinh, even during the weekend.

In France, the head of the Vietnamese government had meetings with all the senior leaders including French President, Prime Minister and the Presidents of the National Assembly and the Senate.

At meetings, all issues raised by both sides were reached with high consensus. Both sides affirmed their determination to deepen the countries’ strategic partnership.

The leaders agreed on major orientations, assigned relevant ministries and sectors to implement specific cooperation measures in order to enhance strategic trust and bring cooperation frameworks in all fields to go deeper, more substantively and effectively.

Both the UK and France agreed to strengthen cooperation in post pandemic recovery and economic development, create conditions for goods to access each other’s markets, and take advantage of free trade agreements between Viet Nam and the European Union (EVFTA) and the UK (UKVFTA), focus on promoting programs and projects in clean energy, organic agriculture, digital economy and innovation, etc.

In terms of multilateral issues, leaders of the UK and France shared common interests with Viet Nam on international issues such as climate change response; security, safety and freedom of maritime navigation and aviation on the basis of respecting international laws including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Thủ tướng Phạm Minh Chính với các kiều bào. (Nguồn: TTXVN)
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh had a meeting with representatives of overseas Vietnamese in Europe on November 4 in Paris, France. (Source: VNA)

Substantive results

The PM’s working visit brought about substantive results, especially in trade and investment promotion activities. With the witness of the PM, nearly 60 Memoranda of Understanding were signed by Vietnamese enterprises and partners in other countries, with the total committed investment value up to more than 30 billion USD, mainly in the fields of renewable energy, digital economy, digital transformation, environment, infrastructure development, aerospace industry, health and epidemic prevention, education, agriculture, tourism, etc.

In total, the PM had nearly 40 meetings and exchanges with more than 60 leaders of leading corporations, banks and universities in the UK, France and Europe.

On the occasion of the trip, PM Pham Minh Chinh also met with friends of Viet Nam including the French Communist Party, the France - Viet Nam Friendship Association and international partners,....

During two meetings with nearly 100 overseas Vietnamese people in the UK and 200 Vietnamese people in France and Europe, the Prime Minister affirmed that Vietnamese people abroad are an indispensable part of the country and the driving force of the nation's development. At the same time, he informed overseas countrymen about the socio-economic situation in Viet Nam, as well as listened to their thoughts and aspirations.

It would be a shortcoming if not to mention the outstanding results of media cooperation and vaccine diplomacy during the Prime Minister's tour. Towards the long-term cooperation in the health sector, the Prime Minister has had a series of meetings to help strengthen ties and accelerate specific cooperation projects between Viet Nam and leading research groups and organizations in the fields of health and epidemiology, thereby contributing to helping Viet Nam develop the pharmaceutical industry, improve healthcare capacity, and ensure health security in a methodical and fundamental way.

In his overall assessment of the Prime Minister's trip, Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son expressed his belief: "The strategic partnership between Viet Nam - UK and Viet Nam - France in the coming time will be enhanced and deepened, bringing practical benefits to all parties, at the same time making contributions to peace and stability in the region and in the world".

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