Vietnam PM pleads for secure sea trade

Vietnam PM pleads for secure sea trade
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung (first, standing, right) at the 2015 Maritime Economic Forum in Portugal yesterday.

LISBON - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung yesterday said it was important that maritime economic development was kept in line with environmental protection and maritime security.

The PM was speaking at the opening of the Lisbon Blue Business Forum yesterday as part of his official visit to Portugal.

He joined his Portuguese counterpart, Pedro Passos Coelho, at the even, which was part of the Blue Week Lisbon 2015. It was targeted at representatives of nearly 200 groups, companies, research institutes and technology centres involved in maritime trade.

PM Dung told participants that with a total coastal line of more than 3,000km, Viet Nam had set a sustainable development goal of becoming a nation stronger and richer from the sea.

He said the maritime economy contributed about 55 per cent of the nation's GDP and 60 per cent of export turnover.

Viet Nam was intensifying economic maritime links with other countries, including Portugal, he said, adding that co-operation could not succeed if navigation security, safety and freedom were threatened.

At present, about a half of the world's seaborne goods were transported through the navigation route connecting Northeast Asia with Europe.

However, Dung said that in the adjoining East Sea, large-scale construction of reef islands by China were violating international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and regional agreements, undermining trust among nations and seriously threatening peace, stability, aviation and navigation security, safety and freedom.

The Vietnamese Government leader asked the international community to demand an immediate end to what he called "illegal acts", to settle all disputes by peaceful means with respect to international law, especially UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.

Dung added that no action should be taken that complicated and expanded disputes.

Portuguese PM Pedro Coelho said his nation wanted to discuss developing the maritime economy with Viet Nam in the future.

Earlier, the Vietnamese leader visited Lisbon port, one of the oldest and biggest ports in Europe.

Later, he left for an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of his counterpart, Boico Borisov.

Portugal backs VN trade

President of the Portuguese Parliament, Maria da Assunsao, yesterday said the legislative body supported Viet Nam in fostering ties with the European Union.

Speaking to Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is on an official trip to Lisbon, she said her parliament would seek the European Parliament's approval of a Partnership and Comprehensive Co-operation Agreement between Viet Nam and the EU.

Portugal would also support the early conclusion of negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two sides as well as EU recognition of Viet Nam's market economy.

Da Assunsao said this would also create favourable conditions for Viet Nam and Portugal to strengthen economic, trade and investment ties.

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