President Bachelet in Hanoi: “Vietnam, like Chile, is a country committed to open trade”
During President Michelle Bachelet’s State Visit to Vietnam in the context of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, she met with President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi. The two leaders then presided over a meeting in which agreements were signed. During her remarks, the President noted that, “this is a country which – like Chile – has committed to trade that is open to the world as a tool for moving towards development and a means of improving relations with the rest of the world”.
President Bachelet mentioned the Chile-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, which went into force in 2014 and has positioned Vietnam as a key trading partner with a great deal of promise.
She added that in the area of cooperation, both countries have taken significant steps in the development of high-level research and specifically high-altitude quinoa farming.
Also in this area, Chile has learned from Vietnam’s experience with the cultivation of different varieties of rice.
President Bachelet praised Vietnam’s participation in the transparency and good governance training project through triangular cooperation with Chile and Singapore, which benefits Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) country officials.
The President noted that tourism has become one of the main drivers of Vietnam’s growth, along with industry and agriculture, stating, “we agree that the mobility of Chilean and Vietnamese people between countries for business or tourism will be strengthened by the tourist visa exemption agreement that has been in place since August.”
The signing ceremony featured the signing of a Memorandum on Cooperation in the field of children and adolescents. “This agreement is a powerful sign of bilateral commitment to the protection of childhood, particularly in regard to the children of Vietnam who have faced the harsh effects of Agent Orange,” President Bachelet explained.
She also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation between Chile’s Andrés Bello Diplomatic Academy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, which also involved strengthening governmental links.
The President thanked Vietnam for supporting the consensus reached for Chile to join the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation last September at the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Vientiane, Laos.
President Bachelet also announced that Chile hopes to forge closer institutional ties with the Asia Regional Forum (ARF), a regional security entity. “Alignment with ASEAN and becoming a Dialogue Partner of this important regional entity is one of Chile’s ongoing goals in its relationship with the Asia-Pacific region,” she noted.
President Tran Dai Quang and President Bachelet discussed the Transpacific Partnership (TPP) integration “in which there is also common ground between Chile and Vietnam,” she noted. She concluded, “the relationship between Chile and Vietnam is particularly solid, and our country hopes to continue to work in the same direction with renewed determination.”