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The 2nd Regular Press Conference 2017


I. INFORMATION

1. G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Germany

From February 16th to 17th, 2007, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh will lead the Vietnamese delegation to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting “Shaping the global order – Foreign policies beyond crisis management” in Bonn, Germany.

Against the backdrop of slow global economic growth, difficult international trade and investment, as well as the G20 process being reoriented following the global financial crisis, the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting will focus on three issues corresponding to three sessions: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; maintaining peace in a complex world; and promoting cooperation with Africa.

Viet Nam's participation in the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting reflects her consistent policy of diversification and multilateralization of external affairs and proactive international integration. This will also contribute to Viet Nam's role as the 2017 APEC host in terms of promoting cooperation and connectivity in Asia-Pacific.

2. AMM Retreat in the Philippines

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh will attend the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) Retreat in Boracay, the Philippines from February 19th to 21th 2017.

This is the first ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in 2017. In this meeting, ASEAN foreign ministers will focus on the core issues relating to the implementation of the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit outcomes. The Ministers will also discuss ASEAN priorities and foci for 2017, and issues concerning ASEAN external relations as well as regional and global issues of common interests.

3. Greek Foreign Minister to visit Viet Nam

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias of Greece will pay an official visit to Viet Nam between February 13th and 14th 2017. This visit aims to promote friendship relations and bilateral cooperation between Viet Nam and Greece, and enhancing cooperation and exchange between the two countries on international and regional issues of mutual interest.
The Greek Foreign Minister will hold talks with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh and pay courtesy calls on Vietnamese leaders.

4. APEC SOM 1

The 1st APEC Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM 1) and related meetings will be held in Nha Trang, Khanh Hoa from Feb 18th to Mar 3rd as part of the APEC 2017 agenda.
Against the backdrop of changing global and regional landscapes, SOM 1 holds a significance in reaffirming commitments to enhancing cooperation in APEC and reinforcing the momentum for growth and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.
SOM1 will cover around 60 meetings, dialogues and conferences surround the APEC 2017 theme "Creating new dynamism, fostering a shared future". Discussions will focus on identifying (1) details and dimensions of the four priorities set out for APEC 2017 and recommendations to put them in place; (2) priorities for the 4 committees on Trade and Investment (CTI), Economic (EC), on Economic and Technology (SCE) on Budget and Management (BMC), as well as other APEC cooperation schemes; and (3) orientations for APEC 2017 activities.

Meetings are expected to draw an attendance of more than 1,500 participants from APEC member economies, international and regional organizations, business representatives and scholars from countries in and outside of APEC.
APEC Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting will concurrently take place in Nha Trang on February 23rd and 24th.
Members of the media, Vietnamese and foreign alike, wishing to cover these events are advised to register online via APEC official website www.apec2017.vn

II. QUESTION AND ANSWER

Does Viet Nam see a path for the TPP without the US, which Australia and Japan are talking about?

Answer:
In my earlier remarks to the media, I have made it clear that Viet Nam is working with other TPP member states on the future path of TPP. Meanwhile, at home Viet Nam continues to live up to its commitments in order to raise our competitiveness and improve the environment for business and investment.

I have a question about your new e-Visa policy. Please confirm if the existing 15-day visa exemption policy is still in place for citizens of a number of nations? And could we have an English language copy of the e-Visa decree please?

Answer:
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working closely with other relevant agencies to implement the e-Visa policy so as to best serve those who wish to visit Viet Nam. Our new e-Visa policy is aimed at promoting tourism and visits to Viet Nam.
Multiple language copies of the e-Visa decree will be available shortly and will be sent to foreign missions in Viet Nam.

Bank of China (BOC) has recently opened a branch in the so-called “Sansha City”. What is your reaction to this?

Answer:
We have on many occasions reaffirmed that Viet Nam has indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spartly) Archipelagos.
Without Viet Nam’s permission, any foreign activity in these areas is illegal and does not alter the fact that we have full sovereignty over these two archipelagos.

The Government of Viet Nam has lately allowed sports betting and casino access for locals. Could you provide the reasons for this decision? Is the budget deficit problem one of them?

Answer:
For the past many years, Vietnam has been consistently carrying out the policy of comprehensive international integration. During the process of reform and international integration, the Party, State and Government of Viet Nam have been introducing policies to keep pace with the international practice and our state of development. All the policies made out by our Party, State and Government are always aimed at serving national development and catching up with the social development and the well-being of our people.

Regarding the death of an Australian tourist in Ha Long Bay, how has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperated with the Australian side and other Vietnamese authorities to handle this?

Answer:
It is a very sad incident. Immediately after the news came out, the authorities of Quang Ninh province, the Australian Embassy in Ha Noi, Vietnamese relevant authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs departments such as Consular, Asia, South Asia and South Pacific have promptly responded to solve the case.

 
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