Vietnam PM backs direct flight between Vietnam, Yunnan

HA NOI - Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said yesterday that he supports a proposal by Chinese province Yunnan to launch a direct flight to Viet Nam and build a cross-border economic co-operation zone with the northern province of Lao Cai. Meeting the Chinese province's Governor, Chen Hao, in Ha Noi, the PM said Vietnamese and Chinese localities, including Lao Cai and Yunnan , need to strengthen economic, trade, investment and tourism links by facilitating transport connections and simplifying immigration and export-import procedures.

Localities sharing a common border should hold regular meetings and people-to-people exchanges to raise mutual trust and understanding, he said.

Dung also called for goodwill and sincere collaboration for a border of peace, friendship, co-operation and development.

Chen said Yunnan would do its best to deliver on commitments made by the nation's leaders, especially regarding economic, trade, investment and tourism ties.

He said trade should be promoted through exhibitions and fairs, including the Kunming International Fair.

In a reception for Chen yesterday, Deputy FM Ho Xuan Son praised the positive progress in co-ordination between Vietnamese localities and Yunnan, urging improvements to existing co-operative mechanisms.

Scholars meet

Vietnamese and Chinese scholars met at a seminar in the northern province of Quang Ninh yesterday to look at improving co-operation in the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf, where fishery resources are declining due to over exploitation and pollution.

Added to the threat is the risk of hijacking, smuggling and cross-border crimes.

Since the Viet Nam-China Agreement on Maritime Boundary Delimitation in the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf and the Fishery Co-operation Agreement in the Bac Bo Gulf took effect, bilateral co-ordination in the area has progressed positively, said the director of the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam (DAV), Dang Dinh Quy.

The meeting said the agreements had created an international legal framework for each country to protect, manage, use and develop marine-based economies in the area.

They called for strengthening consultation mechanisms to address fishery issues and protect the marine environment in the gulf.

Joint patrols and information exchanges should be intensified and funding for joint projects at sea should be raised. They said localities around the gulf should observe international regulations in the environment, trade, tourism, maritime transport and search-and-rescue.

The workshop, co-hosted by the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam and the East Sea Research Foundation, attracted more than 70 scholars, including 18 Chinese.