|Ambassador Pham Quoc Tru (left) at a meeting with Oran province's Governor Zaafen Abdelghani
Granting an interview to the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondents in Algiers, the ambassador highlighted the close friendship between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1962.
He also said bilateral economic-trade cooperation has seen progress in recent years, with Algeria becoming the fourth largest export market of Vietnam in Africa. Vietnam has invested in the oil and gas industry in Algeria, and the Vietnam-Algeria-Thailand joint venture began commercial operation in 2015, pumping around 18,000 barrels a day.
Labour cooperation saw a boom in the 1980s and 1990s with thousands of Vietnamese experts and workers working in Algeria in a range of sectors, from education, healthcare to agriculture and construction. After being suspended for some time, Vietnamese workers returned to Algeria in 2013, mostly those who work in construction. Around 4,000 Vietnamese workers are working in the African country at present.
However, the ambassador stressed that two-way trade, at nearly US$270 million in 2016, remains modest and below the potential and expectation of both countries.
As Vietnam and Algeria will mark the 55th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship this year, it is time for them to make an assessment of bilateral cooperation across the fields and define directions to strengthen the ties in the time ahead, he said, adding that the upcoming 11th session of the Vietnam-Algeria joint committee scheduled for March in Algiers will be a good chance to take up the work.
Ambassador Tru particularly highlighted the warm sentiment of Algerian people towards Vietnam, which is the result of the two nations’ mutual support during their struggle for national independence, the efforts of both countries’ leaders to foster bilateral friendship, and the good impression left by Vietnamese experts during their time working in Algeria.