Vietnam closes the year 2018 with many political, diplomatic and socio-economic events and hallmarks which have drawn special international attention. The following are 10 prominent external relations events selected by VNA.
1. General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong elected President
Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong takes the oath of office.
On October 23, at the sixth session, the 14th National Assembly elected General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the 2016-2021 tenure with 99.79 percent of votes. Earlier, at the eighth session of the 12th Party Central Committee, all committee members had agreed to nominate the Party leader for the presidency, demonstrating an absolute consensus among the Party and the people. Many world leaders sent congratulatory messages to the new President and the international media gave wide coverage about the event.
2. Vietnam ratifies Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership
On November 12, the 14th National Assembly approved a resolution ratifying the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which will take effect on January 1, 2019. The CPTPP is a high-quality and comprehensive new-generation trade agreement with the highest level of commitments. It is expected to form a market of nearly 500 million consumers, with a combined GDP of more than 13 trillion USD, accounting for 13 percent of the global GDP, and about 14 percent of total world trade.
3. World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF-ASEAN) 2018
Many leaders of ASEAN countries and partner nations, together with 1,000 delegates representing multi-national groups, and ASEAN and international enterprises attended the WEF-ASEAN 2018 which took place in Hanoi in September under the theme of “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship and the Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
Press conference of WEF-ASEAN 2018 co-chairs
Statistics showed that there were nearly 8,000 articles about the event, around 7 million people engaged in interactions about the event on social networks and 90,000 viewers watched the event live on the WEF’s page. WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Prof. Klaus Schwab said that WEF ASEAN 2018 in Vietnam is the most successful regional meeting of the WEF.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (sixth from left), Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (sixth from right), WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab (fifth from right) and delegation heads attending the opening session pose for a photo
4. The 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26)
The APPF-26 took place in January in Hanoi with the participation of 22 parliamentarian delegations and 300 guests. It was a highlight of external relations of the 14th National Assembly.
National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, President of the APPF-26, takes a picture with delegates at the event
The forum defined the new APPF vision after one quarter of a century of foundation and development, with persistent efforts to realise common goals, contributing to promoting cooperation and dialogue for peace, stability and prosperity in a region with a population of more than 4.5 billion. The APPF-26 delivered a strong message and spread the image of Vietnam as a reformed, dynamic, active and responsible country to international friends.
APPF and Vietnam’s participation
5. Vietnam elected to UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) for first time
Vietnam was elected to the UNCITRAL for the 2019-2025 tenure, with 157 out of 193 votes at an election during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, the US. The election demonstrates the rising prestige of Vietnam in the international arena, as well as international recognition of the country’s achievements during the “Doi Moi” (reform) cause, especially in economy and trade. As a member of the UNCITRAL, Vietnam will have chances to access consultations and international experience to complete its legal framework, creating a more favourable investment and business environment for sustainable development.
6. The sixth Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS-6) Summit and the 10th Cambodia-Laos-Vietnam (CLV-10) Development Triangle Summit
Hanoi hosted the GMS-6 and CLV-10 in late March, which drew more than 2,000 delegates and 200 businesses. The GMS-6 adopted three important documents – the Joint Declaration, the Hanoi Action Plan for 2018-2022 and a regional investment framework till 2022 with more than 220 programmes and projects on investment and technical support worth a total 66 billion USD.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the sixth Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS-6) Summit.
Meanwhile, at the CLV-10, the Prime Ministers of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam reviewed the implementation of the Master Plan for Socio-Economic Development of the CLV Development Triangle Area till 2020 and issued a Joint Declaration.
7 – Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for foreign investors
Foreign direct investment (FDI) to Vietnam hit over 30 billion USD in 2018, with disbursement reaching about 18 billion USD. The US’s Forbes magazine named Vietnam as the hottest investment destination in Asia, while a survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) conducted ahead of the APEC CEO Summit 2018 showed that Vietnam for the second consecutive years topped the list of destinations expecting largest FDI amount among APEC members.
Cell phone assembling at Samsung Hi-Tech Complex in Yen Binh Industrial Park of Thai Nguyen province
After 30 years of attracting FDI, the foreign-invested sector has become an important part of the Vietnamese economy with considerable contributions to the country’s social-economic development. As of November 2018, Vietnam hosted about 27,000 FDI projects invested by 28 countries and territories with total capital of nearly 340 billion USD and total disbursement of about 188.8 billion USD.
8. Record number of international arrivals
Vietnam welcomes an estimated 15.6 million international tourists in 2018, the highest number so far and three times against that of 2010. This is a big milestone of the tourism sector, which is attributable to strong investment in infrastructure improvement and effective promotion activities both at home and abroad.
Vietnam’s tourism also won a number of prestigious international prizes, including the World Travel Award for Asia leading destination and the World Golf Award for Asia best golf destination. Many travel companies, resorts and airlines were internationally honoured.
The 15 millionth foreign tourist to Vietnam on December 19, 2018, is Mr. James Kopenec from the US and his spouse Ms. Hermine Kopenec
9. Vietnam’s first field hospital joins the UN peacekeeping mission
On October 1, 63 members of the Vietnamese field hospital set out to implement a mission in South Sudan. This is the first time Vietnam has deployed an independent unit to join the UN peacekeeping activities.
Members of the Vietnamese field hospital set off to the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan
Earlier, Vietnam sent 29 officers to implement missions in the Central African Republic and South Sudan, illustrating the country’s proactive and responsible engagement in international activities.
10. Vietnam improves rankings on the world map of beauty
2018 is a year of success for many Vietnamese beauties: H’Hen Nie entered the Top 5 of the Miss Universe pageant and Nguyen Phuong Khanh was crowned at Miss Earth. According to the number-one pageant community forum Missosology, Vietnam has jumped to 56th from 65th place this year thanks to the accomplishments of H’Hen Nie and Nguyen Phuong Khanh as well as Tieu Vy at Miss World (Top 30) and Minh Tu at Miss Supranational (Top 10).
H’Hen Nie enters the Top 5 of Miss Universe 2018. The 1.72m beauty has the measurements of 84-60-93cm. (Source: The organising board of Miss Universe 2018)
Particularly, at Miss Universe, H’Hen Nie won public admiration with her story about an Ede ethnic minority woman overcame difficulties to seek success.
On social media, stories about the Vietnamese representative received active responses.
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