External affairs key to Ho Chi Minh City’s growth hinh anh 1A view of Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) – Ho Chi Minh City needs to shift from political diplomacy to economic diplomacy in service of its development demand, said Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son.

Son made the suggestion at a conference held by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations on December 27 to review its 2016 performance and set out tasks for 2017.

The Deputy Minister noted that external activities in the City and other localities nationwide have to prioritise stronger cooperation with strategic partners and serious selection of areas for joint projects.

He tasked the municipal department with closely working with relevant agencies in implementing cultural diplomacy, protecting citizens overseas and improving the diplomatic sector’s personnel.

Lauding external activities throughout 2016, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong recommended that the activities should continue focusing on strengthening bilateral ties in terms of authority management, environment protection, climate change adaptation, foreign investment attraction and personnel capacity building.

This aims to help develop the city as a trade, finance, science and technology hub in the region, Phong added.

He said 2017 marks a number of major diplomatic events, including the implementation of several international commitments and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) events.

Phong highlighted the city’s plan to celebrate the establishment of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and other countries in 2017, particularly a cultural festival to mark 25 years of Vietnam-the Republic of Korea ties.

As heard at the function, in 2016, the Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations organised 18 official overseas visits for local leaders and welcomed over 140 foreign delegations.

It also participated in the organisation of an international tourism expo, a conference for overseas Vietnamese and the Ho Chi Minh City festival on integration and development, among others.-VNA