Binh Duong province’s Union of Friendship Organizations, a socio-political organization specializing in people-to-people diplomacy, has attached special importance to consolidating and expanding people-to-people relations with other countries, especially with traditional sister localities.
The Union has established nine friendship associations and one committee which works to establish a Vietnam-Netherlands friendship association.
The 1,600-member Union has provided hundreds of scholarships to Cambodian and Laotian students studying at universities in Binh Duong, coordinated with the provincial Department of Foreign Affairs and the business delegation of the Korean Cultural Center (ACEF) and Gyeongnam province in Binh Duong, and jointly organized the Vietnam-India art exchange program to mark 50 years of bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Diversification of relations has strengthened friendship and cooperation between the people of Binh Duong and other countries.
Le Phu Hoa, Director of Binh Duong’s Department of Foreign Affairs, said this cooperation has opened up many new investment projects.
“In 2022, the provincial Party Committee and People's Committee have prompted external activities with a focus on economic programs and expanding friendships with other localities and foreign partners in various forms. This has attracted foreign investment and consolidated cooperation ties,” said Hoa.
Although as one of the hardest hit localities during the fourth COVID-19 outbreak last year, the authorities, the people, the Union of Friendship Associations, and member associations of Binh Duong mobilized 120,000 USD to help people in other countries and Lao and Cambodian people studying or working in the province.
|Le Phu Hoa, Director of Binh Duong’s Department of Foreign Affairs (Photo: moit.gov.vn)
In 2022, the Union and its member Friendship Associations served as a bridge to form a symbiotic relationship between the Binh Duong Women's Unions and its counterparts in the Cambodian provinces of Kratie and Kandal.
It also worked with the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association, and the Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship Association to advise the provincial Steering Committee for External Information on visiting and presenting gifts to poor people in Laos and Cambodia and organize Lao and Cambodian traditional New Year festivals.
In addition to strengthening solidarity and friendship, people-to-people diplomacy has helped promote the image of Binh Duong internationally.
Binh Duong has established bilateral cooperation relations with 11 foreign provinces and cities and become an official member of the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), the Asian Economic Cooperation Forum (Horasis), and the World Trade Centers Association (WTCA).
Tran Thi Hong Hanh, Deputy Chairwoman of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee of Binh Duong province, said people-to-people diplomacy has contributed to the province's goals of fighting the pandemic, developing the local economy, and enhancing its own prestige.
She told VOV that over the years, Binh Duong province’s position in the international arena has been significantly improved.
“The Union has combined the people-to-people diplomacy task set by the Central Government with the direction of the provincial Party Committee and the operation of the provincial People's Committee, called on each individual to be a diplomat in their residential area to make Binh Duong a place of love, compassion, friendliness, and readiness to help the business community, workers, and foreigners who study or work in Binh Duong province,” Hanh noted.
From now until 2025, Binh Duong’s people-to-people diplomacy will further promote the achievements of the national renewal process over the past 35 years and the locality’s development over 25 years, and publicize external affairs and cooperation between Binh Duong and foreign localities, while promoting the image of Vietnam and its people and of Binh Duong province and introducing its potential and investment opportunities worldwide.
The Union will work with relevant agencies to encourage international organizations and foreign NGOs to support Binh Duong’s development towards industrialization and modernization.