President Truong Tan Sang (R) meets his Peruvian counterpart Ollanta Humala (Photo: VNA)

Manila (VNA) – President Truong Tan Sang continued his hectic schedule in Manila, the Philippines, on November 18 as part of the 23rd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit week.

He joined other leaders of the 21 APEC member economies at the official welcoming ceremony hosted by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in the afternoon.

Later, the APEC leaders had a dialogue with members of the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). President Truong Tan Sang, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla and US Trade Representative Michael Froman co-chaired a dialogue group that gathered ABAC member businesses.

They discussed measures enhancing public-private partnership to promote facilitation of trade, investment, sustainable and inclusive growth and services development.

The Vietnamese President affirmed that Vietnam has continually attached importance to the successful reslisation of the Bogor Goals on trade and investment liberisation. He also underlined Vietnam’s concerted efforts to ensure equal growth for all people, especially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Also in the afternoon, President Sang attended the first ever informal dialogue between the APEC leaders with the Pacific Alliance, which gathers four Latin American economies (Peru, Mexico, Chile and Colombia).

Addressing the dialogue, an initiative of the Philippines, President Truong Tan Sang voiced his advocacy of increased coordination between APEC and the Pacific Alliance, adding that Vietnam is willing to join hands with other APEC members in boosting cooperation and effective coordination with other multilateral mechanisms, including the Alliance and the ASEAN Community. He proposed several specific fields that the two sides should consider for their partnership.

The same day, the President held bilateral meetings with the President of Peru, the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

President Sang and his Peruvian counterpart Ollanta Humala expressed delight at the progress in the country’s friendship and cooperation.

The Vietnamese leader said both countries should put the inter-governmental committee on economic and technical cooperation into operation as soon as possible and conduct negotiations on a framework agreement on trade and investment.

The two sides agreed to share experience in order to effectively carry out commitments in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement once the deal takes effect.

They vowed mutual support and close coordination to successfully organise APEC events which will be held in Peru in 2016 and in Vietnam the following year.

Meeting with Malaysian PM Najib Razak, President Truong Tan Sang hailed the year 2015 as a milestone in the countries’ relations with the establishment of the bilateral strategic partnership.

The two leaders concurred in concretising all aspects of the strategic partnership and holding the fifth meeting of the joint committee on economic, scientific and technical cooperation at an early date. They also agreed to accelerate the completion of domestic procedures in order to sign and approve the TPP soon, and to promote experience exchange to improve the TPP implementation capacity.

The Vietnamese State leader highly valued the contributions made by Malaysia, which holds the ASEAN Chair in 2015, to ASEAN’s solidified solidarity and central role in regional issues.

PM Najib Razak thanked Vietnam for supporting and working closely with his country in fulfilling the latter’s mission in the run up to the establishment of the ASEAN Community.

Talking with Chief Executive of China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Leung Chun-ying, President Truong Tan Sang rejoiced at the strong growth of bilateral cooperation in economics, investment, tourism, education, and people-to-people exchanges, along with the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between Vietnam and China.

He highlighted the enormous cooperation potential between the two sides and called on Hong Kong companies to expand their activities in Vietnam to optimise opportunities when Vietnam becomes a member of the ASEAN Community, the TPP and many other free trade agreements (FTA).

The President applauded the speeding up of negotiations on an FTA between ASEAN and Hong Kong and asked the Chinese territory to lift the travel alert for Vietnam.

For his part, Leung Chun-ying stressed that Hong Kong is strongly developing infrastructure to foster its economic connectivity with Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.

He affirmed that Hong Kong will facilitate the grant of visa for Vietnamese citizens who want to visit and work in Hong Kong, and encourage its universities to admit students from Vietnam.-VNA