Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh (4th from left) meets with UNCTAD representatives (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh had bilateral meetings with global economic leaders in Geneva, Switzerland on September 14 as part of his working visit to Europe to expand multi-faceted collaboration between Vietnam and economic organisations in the region and beyond.

While meeting with Secretary-General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Mukhisa Kituyi, Deputy PM Ninh, who is also Head of the Inter-sector Steering Committee for Economic International Integration, hailed the UNCTAD for promoting economics in developing countries, including Vietnam.

He also extolled its assistance to Vietnam over the years and suggested the two sides enhance cooperation in research activities, policymaking, trade and investment while actively supporting each other in World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations, financial management and personnel training.

Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi congratulated Vietnam on its significant achievements in the “doi moi” (reform) process and expressed his delight at the positive developments in bilateral cooperation in debt management, the environment, transport and supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises.

He said the UNCTAD will continue to coordinate with Vietnam to tap its potential for development, adding that he is willing to send additional experts to support Vietnam in priority development fields and hoped to visit Vietnam in the near future.

The Deputy PM later met with WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, who recognised the role of Vietnam in the international community, and pledged to support Vietnam in its international integration for the sake of member countries and the global economy.

In recent years, Vietnam has worked to shift to a market economy with deeper and wider engagement in the global economy, Azevedo said, adding that trade activities have helped the country reduce poverty and improve local living standards.

While meeting with Deputy Director at the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL) Cherise M. Valles and senior lawyer Leo Palma, Deputy PM Ninh highly valued the cooperation spirit and goodwill of ACWL lawyers in supporting personnel training in Vietnam in the short and long term.

He said he hopes the ACWL will continue assisting Vietnam in supplying legal services and consultations to mitigate encountered disputes in handling lawsuits, as well as help Vietnamese legal officials better understand and more effectively deal with international trade issues.

The same day, Deputy PM Ninh participated in the 62nd session of the UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Commission, which focused on the global development strategy trend and foreign debt management.

Speaking at the opening session, the Deputy PM said in 1990, Vietnam was considered one of the most impoverished countries with foreign debt amounting to 146 percent of the local gross domestic product (GDP).

In 1993, Vietnam carried out negotiations on restructuring foreign debt. After a decade of active implementation, the country has nearly cancelled its debts, Ninh noted, citing it as one of the reasons overseas sponsors continually supply development capital to Vietnam.

He said he hopes through similar sessions of the UNCTAD, the Vietnamese Government will have opportunities to learn about the debt management efforts of other countries and the interests of foreign sponsors.-VNA