PM praises ASEAN-Japan, RoK and India summits
Vientiane (VNA) - Prime Minister Phan Van Khai has highlighted the summits between ASEAN and Japan, the Republic of Korea (RoK) and India that took place in Vientiane on Nov. 30.
PM Khai spoke highly of Japan, one of major partners who has always supported Viet Nam in its negotiations to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO). He expressed his hope that his Japanese counterpart, Junichiro Koizumi, will instruct relevant agencies to enhance the intensity of negotiations and apply tariff flexibility.
He noted that if bilateral negotiations are concluded in the first quarter of 2005, it would be strong support for Viet Nam to join the WTO by the end of next year.
In the context of fluctuating oil prices, the Vietnamese PM expressed his hope that Japan will enhance cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in exploiting and manufacturing oil and gas products and developing alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and sea wave energy. ASEAN and Japan can seek forms to ensure the exploitation and transportation of such energy sources in the region, the Government leader added.
At the ASEAN+RoK summit, PM Khai proposed that the RoK facilitate the flow of ASEAN goods into the country and grant the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status to newer ASEAN member countries, including Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam, and encourages its businesses to increase investment in these countries to help them narrow the development gap and accelerate their integration into the ASEAN.
The PM applauded RoK's support for Viet Nam's bid to join the WTO, saying he hoped that the RoK would be more flexible in talks concerning taxes so the two countries could conclude their bilateral talks on Viet Nam's WTO membership soon.
PM Khai thanked India for its special assistance for newer ASEAN member countries to bridge the development gap through capacity building, human resources development programmes and other preferences in the process of establishing the Regional Trade and Investment Area (RTIA). He said that India's help to the four countries, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Viet Nam, build enterprise development centres has been beneficial to the development of small-and medium-sized enterprises in these countries. The Vietnamese PM also expressed his thanks for India's strong support for Viet Nam's WTO membership bid.