Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Leung Chun-ying (R) (Source: VNA)
Hong Kong (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc suggested expanding bilateral economic, trade, investment ties during a meeting with Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Leung Chun-ying in Hong Kong on September 15.

The PM pointed out that as Vietnam is accelerating renewal and global integration and ASEAN and Hong Kong are completing negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), the potential of Vietnam-Hong Kong ties remains promising.

He asked authorities, associations and businesses to facilitate exchanges while making it easier to expand joint work in the fields of culture, education, tourism and labour.

On the occasion, he hailed the Hong Kong administration for lifting the travel warning against Vietnam, and affirmed that the Vietnamese government is ready to offer all possible support to Hong Kong firms to do business in Vietnam, especially in services and industries that suit Vietnam’s sustainable development strategy.

The Vietnamese leader also asked for the Hong Kong side to encourage the imports of food produce, seafood, rice, dairy and fruits, facilitate Vietnam’s trade and investment in Hong Kong and increase flight frequency.

Leung, for his part, asserted that Hong Kong places importance to stepping up win-win cooperation with Vietnam as part of efforts to deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Vietnam.

He said he is willing to serve as a bridge to help Vietnamese firms and localities access markets and global funding.

Expressing thanks to the Vietnamese government for actively backing the FTA between Hong Kong and ASEAN, he said he believed that the deal will open up a new period of mutually-beneficial cooperation between Hong Kong and ASEAN, and between Hong Kong and Vietnam in particular.

Hong Kong is currently Vietnam’s ninth largest trade partner and the sixth largest supplier of foreign direct investment which has topped 16.6 billion USD. Vietnam is the third largest trade partner of Hong Kong in ASEAN.

Earlier the same day, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc also met Chief Secretary for Administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor who briefed him on the economic, trade, investment and tourism cooperation between the two sides recently.

She noted that the number of Hong Kong tourists to Vietnam so far this year surged 130 percent a year ago, while two-way trade has seen rapid growth, with 35 percent of total imported rice of Hong Kong shipped from Vietnam.

Right after her visit to Vietnam in August, the Hong Kong administration has rolled out a number of measures to expand partnership with Vietnam, including the removal of warning on travelling to Vietnam and the agreement to launch Vietjet Air’s air route from Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong, said the Hong Kong Chief Secretary.

She also revealed that the Hong Kong Tourism Board has also planned to increase tours by sea from Hong Kong to Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Hai Phong in the coming time.

The Vietnamese Government leader lauded positive measures that Hong Kong has taken as well as contributions of Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to the bilateral ties.

He affirmed that Vietnam is willing to work for the stronger affiliation with Hong Kong in economy, trade and tourism.

He proposed that management agencies of both sides strengthen exchanges to remove obstacles in visa issuance procedures, creating favourable conditions for bilateral partnership in tourism, education and labour.

He also suggested that both sides should consider the signing of a rice trade deal to ensure the stable and long-term supply of the staple to Hong Kong.

Later on the day, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc and the Vietnamese delegation left Hong Kong, successfully concluding the official visit to China to attend the 13 th China-ASEAN Expo and Business and Investment Summit as well as the visit to Hong Kong.

On his way back, the leader sent a message to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to thank for China’s warm welcome. He also expressed his belief that the visit will help further the Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.-VNA