Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ​speaks at the conference on August 23 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – International economic integration promotion is a focal task of the diplomatic sector, and external activities in other spheres must facilitate economic diplomacy, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said at the ongoing 29th Diplomatic Conference on August 23.

In an introductory speech on the August 23 session, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said during the Doi moi (Reform) period, economic diplomacy has effectively contributed to lifting foreign embargoes for the country, mobilising external resources for domestic socio-economic development, and accelerating extensive international economic integration.

Vietnam set up the strategic partnership with eight countries and the comprehensive partnership with three others over the last five years, raising the number of its strategic and comprehensive partners to 25. That has helped intensify its external relations in all realms, especially in economics, trade and investment, he noted.

Talking to participating diplomats, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Vietnam’s socio-economic attainments remain modest compared to the world’s development level. The country may face sluggish growth if awareness and actions remain unrevolutionised.

Unpredictable political and economic developments in the region and the world, particularly sovereignty disputes and terror threats, pose risks of instability and can affect Vietnam’s economic cooperation, he noted.

Stressing the goal of rapid and sustainable economic development, he told diplomats to be more active in trade and investment promotion as well as policy dialogues to protect the rights and interests of Vietnamese businesses in other countries.

Vietnam now has diplomatic ties with nearly 200 nations and more than 90 overseas representative agencies worldwide.

The diplomatic sector, therefore, needs to make precise forecasts of the global economic situation so as to give useful advice serving the country’s foreign economic cooperation, the Government leader said.

He asked the sector to define strategic priorities for Vietnam, especially the core interests in sovereignty and security protection, socio-economic development, and bringing into play the country’s influence in the global arena.

It should play a more active role in international institutions such as the United Nations, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and ASEAN so as to raise Vietnam’s standing.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc expects each diplomat will be the best representative of Vietnam and its interests in other countries, adding that a professional diplomat in the new era must also serve as an economist, a scholar and a cultural ambassador.

It is a heavy duty but also a noble and proud mission tasked by the Party, State and people, he added.

At the meeting, he also requested localities nationwide pay more heed to external activities while closely liaising with Vietnam’s overseas representative agencies to optimise their advantages.

The biennial conference of the diplomatic sector opened on August 22 and will last through August 26 with the purpose of seeking measures to increase the efficiency of external activities and international integration to successfully realise the 12th National Party Congress Resolution.-VNA