Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on May 21 led a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to the Philippines to visit the country and attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) for East Asia 2014.

The May 21-22 tour came at the invitation of Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and WEF Chairman Klaus Schawab.

PM Dung’s working visit to the Philippines seeks to create a fresh impetus for the two countries’ all-sided cooperation, even in regional and global issues.

In November, 2002, the two countries signed a Bilateral Cooperation Framework for the first 25 years of the 21st century and beyond.

An Action Plan for 2011-2016, inked in October 2011, has provided guidance for the two countries to specify the scope and fields of their partnership while reaching a consensus on elevating their relations to a strategic level.

The trade value of 2 billion USD recorded in the 2008-2011 period has been raised to 2.9 billion USD in 2012 and 2.6 billion USD in 2013.

Vietnam sells mainly rice and other farm products to its ASEAN peer, while buying fertilizers, machinery and spare parts, minerals, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and construction materials.

So far, Vietnam had yet to invest in the Philippines, which currently stands 29th among foreign investors in Vietnam with 65 projects worth 285 million USD.

Bilateral cooperation in education, culture, tourism, security, defence, agriculture and fisheries has made significant progress since the action plan was agreed.

As one of the established forums to have drawn the interest of leaders from big countries and companies worldwide, WEF annually launches global and regional events to bring together government leaders, business executives, social activists and religious scholars to deliberate pressing issues facing the world.

In the meantime, the global economy is challenged by an unsustainable and unbalanced recovery and newly-emerging and developing economies have seen their growth slowing down.

In East Asia, economic integration and connectivity is being sped up. In particular, the ASEAN member countries are doing their utmost towards the formation of a single economic community by 2015.

As such, the WEF for East Asia, held in Manila, will consider how to leverage growth for equitable progress, promote sustainability-orientated growth models and identify regional connectivity.

It will see the attendance of 450 politicians, company executives and social organisation representatives from in and outside the region. The talks will be joined by the Presidents of the Philippines and Indonesia, the Vice President of Myanmar and the Vietnamese Prime Minister, among others.

Vietnam currently has 13 economic groups and corporations as members of the WEF, including the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, FPT, VinGroup and VinaCapital, who are among the forum’s founding members.

In 2010, Ho Chi Minh City hosted the WEF for East Asia. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung attended subsequent forums in Thailand in 2012 and Myanmar in 2013.-VNA