By THE NATION
Phuc’s first official visit to the country since he took power in April last year will include many cabinet ministers, including the trade and industry, planning and investment, science and technology, agriculture and rural development, information and communications portfolios, in discussions with their Thai counterparts.
Phuc will meet Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha at Government House today to discuss issues, including defence and security cooperation, trade and investment, and connectivity and regional cooperation.
After the plenary session, the two premiers will witness the signing of deals including memoranda of understanding on economics and trade, telecommunications, science and technology, and “sister city” cooperation between Thailand’s Trat and Vietnam’s Ca Mau provinces.
The draft joint communique to be issued after the meeting states the two premiers would exchange their views on the development, management and environmental impacts in the Mekong basin shared by Thailand and Vietnam.
The two leaders prioritised a balanced approach between economic benefits and environment preservation while ensuring the well-being of their citizens, according to the draft statement seen by The Nation.
The premiers will also address Vietnam’s serious concerns about the contentious South China Sea, about which Hanoi has been at loggerheads with China for decades. Both sides will reaffirm the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability as well as freedom of navigation, including overflights above the contentious sea, the statement said.
They will also focus on full implementation of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and prioritise solving conflicts through peaceful means in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Both sides will also express their support for Asean and China’s early conclusion of a code of conduct on the South China Sea, following the ministerial meeting early this month in Manila, which adopted a framework to establish the code.
During his visit, which will last until Saturday, Phuc will pay a courtesy call on the president of the National Legislative Assembly, meet with high-level Thai business executives, and attend a business forum and the opening ceremony of the “Vietnamese Goods Week in Thailand” at Central Ladprao Department Store.
He will also travel to Nakhon Phanom province to visit the President Ho Chi Minh Memorial Site and meet with Thai communities with Vietnamese ancestry there.