08:18 | 22/10/2015 Cooperation
The Vietnam - Philippines Bilateral Cooperation Committee convened its eighth meeting in Hanoi on October 21, looking into specific measures to lift the bilateral ties to a greater height.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (right) and Filipino Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario (Source: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Filipino Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario made a comprehensive review of the bilateral relationship since the previous meeting held in Manila in October 2013 and the implementation of the Vietnam-Philippines action plan for 2011-2016.
Expressing delight at their strengthened links across politics, economics-trade-investment, national defence-security, sea and ocean, agriculture, education and people-to-people exchange, they set sight on quality growth of the partnership through further facilitating visits and high-level exchanges.
They agreed on a plan for the Presidents of the two countries to hold talks on the occasion of President Truong Tan Sang’s visit to the Philippines to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit slated for November.
The two sides will also work together on a plan of celebrations for the 40 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.
On national defence-security cooperation, the Vietnamese side welcomed the Filipino Secretary of Defence’s planned visit to Vietnam in 2016.
The two sides committed to effectively executing defence-security agreements while promptly conducting negotiations towards signing an agreement on extradition and hand-over of prisoners.
Apart from information and experience sharing, the two countries are to further collaboration in fighting terrorism, cyber crimes and piracy, conducting search and rescue, and training officers for the United Nations peacekeeping activities.
About economic link, host and guest agreed on a two-way trade target of 3 billion USD by 2016. They pledged to convene the second meeting of the sub-committees on trade cooperation while coordinating to make full use of advantages brought about by regional and international economic connections as well as sign a protocol amending the bilateral rice trade agreement for 2014-2016.
The two sides agreed to turn agriculture and fisheries into one of the strategic cooperative pillars, with initial focus to be geared toward rice cultivation and fisheries.
Additional areas of coordination will be culture, education-training, transport, science-technology and environment.
Turning to sea and ocean engagements, they shared the view that cooperation mechanisms in the field, particularly the deputy ministerial-level Inter-Committee on Sea and Ocean, have contributed to the Vietnam-Philippines partnership.
The two sides said they will coordinate to handle issues related to fishermen and vessels in an humanitarian and friendship manner.
On the multilateral aspect, they said they are satisfied with the bilateral cooperation at regional and global forums, especially within the ASEAN framework.
They promised to work closely together and with other partners to successfully build the ASEAN Community, and at the same time upholding ASEAN’s central role in settling regional security issues.
The two officials reiterated the significance of ensuring peace, stability, security, navigation and aviation freedom and safety in the East Sea as well as settling disputes at sea in line with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, towards formulating a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.
The ninth meeting will be held in the Philippines in 2017.
During a press conference following the meeting, Deputy PM Minh said the two countries have reached a high political trust via the regular exchange of visits while economic, trade, national defence-security ties have made substantial progress.
Rosario, for his part, said the Philippines vows to work with Vietnam in the framework of the ASEAN and other multilateral forums to contribute to the regional and global development.
He added that Vietnam is an important partner in supplying rice to the Philippines.