Overview of the conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – External affairs have played an important role in socio-economic development, investment attraction and international integration of localities, agreed participants at the 19th National Conference on External Affairs that took place in Hanoi on August 12.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung said that over the past years, Hanoi has promoted external economic relations through meetings between senior leaders of the city and leaders of large multinational groups and enterprises.

The city has strengthened its relations with cities in the world, while actively implementing bilateral and multilateral economic agreements, he noted.

Chung said that the year of 2018 continues marking new achievements of the city’s external relation work to serve foreign investment promotion. The city has engaged in many important forums and municipal leaders have hosted 175 meetings with representatives of foreign firms to introduce the city’s policies to lure investment and listen to the firms’ questions.

He said thanks to the active external relation work, Hanoi, for the first time in 30 years, rose to the first position in FDI attraction in the first haft of 2018. As of the end of July 2018, aggregated foreign direct investment (FDI) in the city reached nearly 34 billion USD with 4,300 projects, making it the second biggest FDI destination in Vietnam. The city also implemented 105 projects using official development assistance (ODA) capital with total committed capital of more than 4 billion USD.

The foreign-invested sector contributes about 15 percent of the city’s total social investment and accounts for about 16.5 percent of its regional gross domestic products.

In order to improve the efficiency of external affairs activities, in the future, the city will continue reforming its FDI attraction policies, while focusing on expanding relations with cities and capitals in the world as well as other countries, territories and international organisations, and combining political and economic diplomacies, stated Chung.

He said that the city will also broaden trade and tourism cooperation with countries around the world, make full use of assistance from them as well as international financial-monetary institutions, expand export markets and promote its image globally.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the People’s Committee of the northern province of Thai Nguyen Vu Hong Bac told the successful story of the Republic of Korea’s Samsung Group in the province as one of the province’s achievements in external affairs.

Since 2010, Thai Nguyen has drawn 123 FDI firms with total registered capital of over 7.2 billion USD and 130 valid projects, creating jobs for over 100,000 labourers.

Thai Nguyen ranks 10th among 63 localities nationwide in valid FDI, said Bac, adding that the province has concentrating on boosting the growth of industry, tourism, service, urban areas, agriculture, forestry and environmental protection.

Ho Chi Minh City has also shown strong performance in international integration through local cooperation. Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Le Thanh Liem said that the city has set up friendly and cooperative relations with 50 localities in various countries around the world with different targets basing on the city’s demands.

Sharing her experience in connecting Vietnamese and Japanese localities, Nguyen Thi Phuong Hong, Vietnamese Consul General in Japan’s Fukuoka said that Vietnamese localities should take advantage of the strong momentum in the Vietnam-Japan relations, which is in its best ever period, while making full use of the globalization and integration trends of Japanese localities.

She advised that along with exchanging information and fostering coordination with representative offices abroad, domestic provinces and cities should engage in conferences, events and activities to promote themselves and attract attention from Japanese partners.

Hong said Vietnam’s representative offices abroad often lack information about domestic localities, stressing the need for each locality to provide information for and keep close coordination with overseas Vietnamese representative missions to facilitate the missions’ work.-VNA