Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh deliveres a speech at the 2021 Global Trade in Services Summit via video. (Photo: VNA)
Following is the full text of the remarks.
Comrade Xi Jinping, General-Secretary,President of the People’s Republic of China,
Excellencies Leaders of Governments and international organizations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, it is my great honor and pleasure to deliver my remarks at the Opening Ceremony of the 2021 Global Trade in Services Summit, under the theme of “Towards Digital Future and Service Driven Development.” At the outset, I wish to express my sincere thanks to Comrade Xi Jinping, General-Secretary, President of the People’s Republic of China, for inviting me to this very meaningful Summit. On this occasion, on behalf of the Government of Vietnam, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings, warm regards and best wishes to Excellencies Leaders and distinguished delegates present.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We are entering the 3rd decade of the 21st century, an era of digitalization with numerous intertwined opportunities and challenges. As countries are facing the collective impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and depletion of natural resources, stronger international cooperation and effective application of digital technology are among the key solutions. This will create new drivers for economic growth and recovery, thus ensuring sustainable, inclusive, and comprehensive development. Moreover, stepping up cooperation in digitalization is a key contributor to an environment of peace, stability, cooperation, and development among countries and peoples across the world.
The remarkable achievements and sound investment in digital technology as seen in many countries, including China, have been truly impressive. Reality has shown that the development and application of science and technology have ushered in tremendous benefits. They have enabled economies to transform their growth models, make better use of available resources, and promote the flow of capital, goods, and services at an unprecedented scale and magnitude.
Vietnam has long been aware of the importance of digitalization. Accordingly, we have been accelerating digital transformation of the economy, and the development of digital economy and society. With that in mind, I wish to share with you the following points:
First, we should harness the opportunities presented by the fight against Covid-19 to kickstart digitalization, with the focus on digital technology and digital economy, in order to soon realize the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Vietnam looks forward to the active and effective cooperation of the international community to ensure that digitalization is truly a new method for narrowing not only the development gap among countries, but also social inequalities. Such cooperation will also help ensure that people living in underdeveloped or remote areas can enjoy equal access to services provided through digital platforms.
Second, it is necessary to uphold the role of international agreements on digital technology and digital economy. They would drive the development of these areas, while safeguarding the legitimate demands of countries in ensuring cyber security and safety, and personal privacy, preventing monopoly and eliminating inequality in tax obligations. In this spirit, Vietnam has participated in shaping new norms pertaining to e-commerce in free trade agreements, most recently ones being the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area (ACFTA). Vietnam welcomes China’s ideas and efforts in these areas, and stands ready to work with China and other countries to formulate an appropriate legal framework, with a view to promoting the healthy, rapid, suitable, extensive, effective and harmonious development of our digital economies, for the common interest of the whole society.
Third, it is essential to strengthen cooperation in education and training of human resources, and bolster the connectivity among the scientific and technological communities between different countries and regions. This would serve to improve digital literacy for our businesses and people, and support workers, particularly those from disadvantaged groups, in gradually adapting to digital technology.
Fourth, we need to promote digital technology in facilitating trade, supporting the flow of goods and services, especially via multimodal transportation, and the movement of people.
This would prevent the disruption of the supply chains, particularly as the COVID-19 pandemic may persist.
Fifth, we should bolster cooperation to enhance cross-border digital trade in a fair and mutually beneficial manner, thereby promoting exports, especially those of seasonal agricultural and aquacultural goods.
Ladies and gentlemen,
As an ASEAN member with robust economic growth, Vietnam has a network of 17 Free Trade Agreements with over 60 partners, a domestic market of around 100 million people, the majority of which is made up of young people, and an innovation-driven mindset that is highly responsive to digital technologies. Taken all together, Vietnam has vast untapped potential in developing its digital economy. Currently, nearly 70 percent of Vietnamese people are Internet users, and Vietnam is among the fastest growing countries in terms of digital evolution momentum.
Vietnam hopes that cooperation in the development of digital economies will be given due priority and become a core focus in its relations with other countries, and in its Comprehensive Strategic Partnership with China. At present, China is Vietnam’s largest trading partner, while Vietnam is China’s 5th largest trading partner in the world, and the largest within ASEAN. Vietnam attaches great importance to cooperation with China and other countries in trade in services and digital economy development. Together we will ensure that such ties would be more open, inclusive, sustainable, fair and humanistic, on the basis of mutual respect and interest. Such concerted efforts would be a meaningful contributor to the development of each country, and bring about substantial benefits to the region and beyond.
May the 2021 Global Trade in Services Summit be a resounding success!
I wish you all good health, happiness and greater success.