“Vietnam and Philippines: Collaborating and Competing in the Economy to Create Joint Strength”

During a business meeting, the President of the Philippines and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh agreed that the two economies are natural partners, in need of both cooperation and competition to enhance the quality of products, goods, services, and create mutual strength...

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On January 30, in Hanoi, during the State visit to Vietnam of Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and Philippine President held a meeting with the business communities of both countries.

Attending the meeting from the Vietnamese side were Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung; Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien; leaders of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Agriculture and Rural Development; Government Office; Vietnamese Ambassador to the Philippines Lai Thai Binh…

From the Philippine side, there were Minister of Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo; Minister of Agriculture Francisco T. Laurel; Minister of Trade and Investment Alfredo E. Pascual; Liaison Officer of the President Cheloy Velicaria Garafil; Chairman of the National Security Council Eduardo M. Ano; Presidential Adviser for Investment and Economics Frederick D. Go; Philippine Ambassador to Vietnam Meynardo LB. Montealegre.

The meeting was also attended by numerous outstanding businesses from Vietnam and the Philippines in fields such as infrastructure development, trade, real estate, electric cars, aviation, information technology, food, energy, pharmaceutical industry, education and training…

ENHANCING INVESTMENT ATTRACTION INTO EACH OTHER’S MARKETS

Opinions given at the meeting assessed that after 48 years of establishment of diplomatic relations and 9 years of Strategic Partnership, the Vietnam-Philippines cooperation has made significant achievements in many areas. In which, the bilateral trade turnover in 2022 reached about $7.8 billion, up 12% compared to 2021. Up to the end of November 2023, the two-way trade turnover reached $7.1 billion.

The Philippines is currently Vietnam’s 16th largest trading partner in the world and the 6th largest in ASEAN. The Philippines is also Vietnam’s largest rice export market. At present, the Philippines has 92 investment projects in Vietnam with a total registered capital of about $608 million.

On the basis of friendly and fruitful relations, both sides desire to further strengthen the relationship, opening up a new phase for stronger cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral aspects, especially in the areas of economic, trade, and investment cooperation…

Both countries have similarities that can be exploited and developed such as: Both economies have a high degree of openness; the two countries are in Southeast Asia; they have a similar population size, level of development; and have many connections in history, culture, and people; both have mechanisms for encouraging and protecting mutual investments; both are active members of the ASEAN Economic Community and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP)…

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh speaking at the meeting – Photo: VGP

Especially, both have a complete and favorable legal framework for businesses from both sides to connect, trade, cooperate, and become important links in the regional and global supply chain.

Opinions suggest that both sides continue to promote the flow of investment and trade, especially in the mutually advantageous and potential areas such as high-quality agriculture, renewable energy, education, human resources training, information technology, science and technology, innovation, healthcare…

Both sides will utilize and effectively implement Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) that both countries are members of to promote the exchange of goods, increase imports and exports, open up markets and create more favorable conditions for businesses from both sides; strive for the bilateral trade turnover to reach $10 billion at an early date.

At the same time, enhance the attraction of attention and investment of businesses from both countries into each other’s markets. Vietnam, in particular, advocates for selective, quality-oriented, efficient, and environmentally friendly foreign investment.

Speaking at the meeting, leaders of 18 businesses shared their impressions, emotions, introduced their potentials and strengths, expressed optimism and enthusiasm about the possibility of cooperation, and presented specific directions for production and business cooperation, and expanding investment in the near future, raised some suggestions and recommendations with the leadership of the two countries regarding anti-dumping duties on Vietnamese cement, licensing of telecommunications businesses, reopening of direct flights, connecting fiber optic cables between the two countries…

Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. expressed his gratitude for the warm reception from Vietnam to the delegation, with a spirit of friendship, cooperation, and a focus on the future. He believes that his current visit will contribute to enhancing the close, friendly, solid, strategic relationship between the two countries.

He emphasized that this strategic relationship needs to be further extended to businesses, especially in the areas of innovation, towards sustainable development, bringing practical benefits to both countries, promoting peace, stability, cooperation, and development in the region.

He highly appreciated Vietnam’s open policies, active support for Philippine businesses, and expressed optimism that Philippine businesses will continue to cooperate and expand investment in Vietnam – a country with dynamic development, and Vietnamese companies also view the Philippines as a very potential market.

He suggested that both sides continue to develop economic and trade cooperation, traditional cooperation, especially in agriculture and non-traditional areas such as mining, green technology investment, transportation connectivity, technology…

He recognized Vietnam’s concerns about the protective measures and technical barriers of the Philippines and believed that the two countries are in a highly dynamic economic context of the region, the two countries are natural partners, both competitive and cooperative, and need to create a more favorable business environment for business cooperation. He believed it is necessary to promote cooperation mechanisms between the Government and the Government, the association with the association, the enterprise with the enterprise… between the two sides.

THERE IS NO OBSTACLE

For his part, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highly appreciated the role of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. in promoting and creating conditions for Philippine businesses to develop and contribute to the country’s continuous development and create new conditions, new motivations for businesses from both countries to approach, enhance cooperation, strengthen the connection between the two economies.

The Prime Minister assessed that economic, trade, and investment relations between the two countries have achieved certain results, encouraging ones, but compared to the potential, opportunities, advantages, and political relations between the two countries, it still does not correspond, there is still a lot of room for further strong promotion.

Delegates attending the event – Photo: VGP

“The two economies can connect and complement each other, political trust is increasing, we understand each other more and both sides have more experience to cooperate,” the Prime Minister said.

He proposed that both sides renew old motivations for cooperation (such as in investment, trade, consumption…) and add new motivations such as cooperation in digital transformation, green transformation, and response to climate change.

The Prime Minister fully agreed with the President’s view that both sides need competition to improve the quality of products, goods, services, and cooperate with each other to create collective strength.

Regarding the concerns and worries of businesses, the Prime Minister suggested that both sides resolve the work in a way that allows for quicker permits, review and removal of unreasonable technical barriers, adjustment of regulations, policies, and resolution of obstacles with a spirit of always listening to businesses and investors.

Believing that the common direction is the leaders, but material transformation is thanks to businesses from both sides, the Prime Minister emphasized that the Vietnamese Government is committed to always accompanying and creating favorable conditions according to the provisions of the law for Philippine businesses to carry out successful, sustainable, and long-term investment in Vietnam.

The Prime Minister assigned the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and related agencies to continue to review and quickly handle proposals, recommendations of businesses, to create a better development environment, space for businesses from both countries.

“There are no obstacles to businesses from both countries strengthening cooperation, both economies intensifying connection for the goal of two mighty countries, prosperity, the people of the two countries are well-fed, happy, for peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and in the world,” the Prime Minister emphasized.