Chinese Premier Li Keqiang speaks at a luncheon attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and representatives of the two countries' business communities, in Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct. 15, 2013. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)
HANOI, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday laid out a four-pronged proposal on further deepening business cooperation between his country and Vietnam.
The rapidly growing economic and trade cooperation between China and Vietnam boasts great potential, and their common interests far outweigh their differences, Li said at a luncheon attended by Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and representatives of the two countries' business communities.
He urged the two countries to integrate their development strategies and accelerate the expansion of their economic and trade cooperation with a market-oriented, enterprise-centered approach.
First, the two sides need to advance their overall cooperation, Li said, adding that he and his Vietnamese counterpart have agreed on forming three work groups to simultaneously advance maritime, onshore and financial cooperation.
Li said the consensus on the three-track approach heralds a better business environment for the enterprises of both countries, and will boost investor confidence and infuse new vigor into China-Vietnam cooperation.
Second, the two countries should promote trade facilitation, set in motion a related joint work group within the year, and strive to raise bilateral trade to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2017, proposed the premier.
Noting that trade growth requires robust financial support, he said China stands ready to work with Vietnam to expand the scale of bilateral currency swap and local currency settlement so as to help advance the liberalization and facilitation of bilateral trade and investment.
Third, Li called on the two countries to boost mutual investment, saying that his country assigns priority to transportation, communications, energy and other interconnectivity-building projects, encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in Vietnam, and welcomes investment by Vietnamese businesses.
Fourth, China and Vietnam need to deepen cooperation under the framework of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the premier.
He said that at the series of East Asian leaders' meetings last week, he made a seven-pronged proposal on the framework of China-ASEAN cooperation in the next decade, and that negotiations are set to begin on upgrading the China-ASEAN free trade area.
On China's economic performance, the premier said that, with the Chinese economy growing steadily on the basis of stability, China is fully able to achieve this year's major socioeconomic development targets.
China will stick firmly to the path of economic reform, and China's development will provide Vietnam and the region at large with a huge market and a multitude of development opportunities, Li added.
For his part, Dung noted that economic and trade cooperation is an important pillar in the edifice of bilateral friendship and that the two sides benefit from each other's development.
The latest consensus between the two sides will further consolidate the foundation for future expansion of bilateral cooperation in various fields, he said, adding that Vietnam is willing to create a more favorable environment for Chinese enterprises to invest in the country.