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Significance of Prime Minister's attendance at ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

VGP - Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s attendance at the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit (ASEAN-GCC), and visit to Saudi Arabia sends out a message of a peaceful, sincere, and trustworthy Viet Nam.

Posts Thuy Dung

October 17, 2023 5:00 PM GMT+7
PM's trip to Saudi Arabia sends strong commitments, responsible contribution of Viet Nam  - Ảnh 1.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will lead a high-ranking delegation of Viet Nam to attend the ASEAN-Gulf Cooperation Council Summit (ASEAN-GCC), and visit Saudi Arabia from October 18–20 at the invitation of the King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

This is the first summit between ASEAN and GCC since the two blocs began first formal contact in 1990.

Top crucial bloc in the Middle East

The GCC, set up in May 1981 and headquartered in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia, comprises Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

GCC countries basically implement a moderate foreign policy, promote the Look East policy, and enhance cooperation with Southeast Asia, including Viet Nam, and deploy policies to facilitate the development of bilateral relations.

GCC members are highly developed economies with combined GDP of US$2,000 billion in 2022 and the annual GDP per capita of US$38,447. 

Recently, GCC countries are stepping up the implementation of green growth, energy conversion and climate adaptation strategies, accelerating the process of diversifying the economy, reducing dependence on oil and dedicating a lot of financial resources to realize these goals. 

Saudi Arabia targeted to spend US$186 billion on green economy development while the UAE has planned to invest US$163 billion in renewable energy production till 2050. 

Other nations such as Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar intended to spare over US$150 billion for green economy development and energy transition. 

GCC members, prioritized partners of Viet Nam 

All the GCC members are prioritized partners of Viet Nam in the Greater Middle East and North Africa region in fields of politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, official development assistance (ODA) and labor. 

Viet Nam has opened its embassy in four countries in the GCC including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE and also hosted their embassies. 

The trade value between Viet Nam and the GCC members hit US$12.5 billion. Investors from the bloc have poured US$1 billion in Viet Nam. 

Currently, around 11,000 Vietnamese people are working in the GCC nations. 

Viet Nam and the UAE are negotiating a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA). 

Viet Nam and Saudi Arabia set up diplomatic ties in October 1999. The first political consultation took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in February 2023. 

The bilateral trade exceeded US$2.7 billion in 2022, up 32.4 percent against the previous year. 

The Saudi Fund for Development has provided preferential loans for 13 projects worth over US$181 million in Viet Nam. 

Upgrading the bilateral ties towards substantive, effective manner 

The Prime Minister's trip is of great significance, showing Viet Nam's willing to work with other ASEAN Member States to demonstrate a new mindset of independence, solidarity, development, while strengthening political trust and improving the effectiveness of cooperation between Viet Nam and Saudi Arabia.

The trip will consolidate political trust, deepen cooperation ties, and boost the bilateral relations in a more substantive and effective manner across all sectors of politics, diplomacy, economy, trade, investment, labor, green growth, infrastructure, energy, and high-tech industry. 

Furthermore, thanks to the trip, Viet Nam expects to facilitate export of agricultural products and manpower to Saudi Arabia./.