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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs 18 December 2014  

Viet Nam, UAE to boost trade ties
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with his United Arab Emirates (UAE) counterpart Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi  the day before yesterday during which both sides agreed to beef up their bilateral partnership in all fields, especially trade, investment, finance and banking and labour co-operation.
The two sides agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels while affirming their determination to raise two-way trade to a more impressive figure. They also vowed to continue close co-ordination and mutual support at international multilateral forums.
Deputy PM Phuc said that Viet Nam saw the UAE as one of its top partners in the Middle East, suggesting the country encourage its businesses to invest more in Viet Nam, particularly in energy, tourism, finance and banking and oil and gas.
He asked the UAE to help Viet Nam build a training centre for Vietnamese workers who work in the Middle East.
Viet Nam would create favourable conditions for UAE investors to explore business and investment opportunities in the country, he affirmed.
The UAE Deputy PM said his country attached importance to developing ties with Viet Nam. He confirmed that he would direct relevant ministries and agencies to effectively realise all reached agreements and back joint projects in economics, finance and banking and labour in the future.
UAE businesses wished to invest in Viet Nam's agriculture sector, he said, encouraging Vietnamese producers to export more agricultural products to the UAE.
Currently, the UAE is one of Viet Nam's leading economic partners in the Middle East and North Africa, with two-way trade hitting US$4.46 billion in 2013, a rise of 80 per cent over the previous year and 63 times higher than that of 2002.
Growing partnership
Viet Nam and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) saw remarkable progress in their bilateral partnership over the past two decades, especially in politics, diplomacy, economics and culture, Deputy PM Phuc said at a gala dinner in Abu Dhabi as part of his ongoing visit to the country.
As a major market and top exporter of agricultural products, Viet Nam was a promising destination for regional and international investors, including those from the UAE, he said.
Many UAE giants have established a presence in Viet Nam, including DP World, IPIC, Emirates Investment Gate, Mubadala, Borouge, Sama Dubai, Dubai Holdings and Limitless Tamouh. By November, UAE investors had eight projects in Viet Nam with total registered capital of $135.1 million.
According to the Deputy PM, "Vietnam Days in the UAE" was held for the first time as part of the two governments' joint efforts to enhance cultural exchanges and co-operation as well as people-to-people contacts.
Participants at the gala dinner, who came from more than 40 diplomatic corps in the UAE, enjoyed Vietnamese food and traditional music. They were also introduced to the country's famous landscapes and unique culture.
On the sidelines of the event, Phuc met with the Office of Tony Blair (OTB)'s resident advisor in the UAE, Andreas Baumgartner, to discuss co-operation outcomes between the Vietnamese Government and the OTB over the past year and future orientations.
He said Viet Nam would step up the restructuring of State-owned enterprises and the development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), while creating favourable conditions for the private sector.
Baumgartner pledged that the OTB would serve as a bridge for the UAE business community and Vietnamese SMEs and help the Southeast Asian country develop support industries.
Deputy PM Phuc also met with a number of UAE investors, including the CEO of AVI Group, and representatives of the Vietnamese community. 

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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