|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh
The diplomat told the press ahead of Minh’s visit that the friendship between Vietnam and Romania has been well cultivated over the past 68 years.
Vietnamese people always keep in mind the support provided by the Romanian people and Government during their historic struggle for national liberation, as well as the present-day national construction and development, he said.
Romania backed Vietnam’s bid to run for both a seat at the UN Human Rights Council for 2014-2016 and in joining the International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), Cong recalled.
Highlighting the outstanding progress Vietnam has made in economic development, the ambassador said Minh’s visit is expected to help connect the two economies and elevate their relationship to a new level.
He said that the political trust between the two countries has always been continuously consolidated. The two sides have maintained high-level visits and meetings, and increased delegation exchanges between ministries and agencies.
Besides, Vietnam and Romania have supported each other in the international arena and at multilateral forums like the United Nations (UN), the Francophone community, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Assuming the rotary presidency of the EU in the first half of 2019, Romania will work as a bridge between Vietnam and other EU member countries. In response, Vietnam will make efforts to help Romania reinforce its ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cong said.
He added that significant progress has been made in the bilateral economic links, with Vietnam’s export turnover to Romania in the first four months of 2018 exceeding 42 million USD, up 24.43 percent year-on-year.
The diplomat expressed his hope that the 16th meeting of the Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation – scheduled to take place in the third quarter of 2018 in Bucharest, Romania – will be a boost for trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
Cong cited experts as saying that the abolishment of the majority of import duties in the future under the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) – expected to take effect this year – will benefit Vietnamese businesses and help increase Vietnam’s export turnover for Europe in general, and Romania in particular.
He added that Vietnam is one of Romania’s leading labour suppliers, with the number of Vietnamese guest workers in the country increasing from 300 to 1,500 within a year.
Apart from cooperation between the two countries’ localities, that in culture and education-training has also received due attention from high-ranking leaders of the two countries, the ambassador said.
He cited the cooperation agreement in education signed during former Romanian Prime Minister Dacian Ciorlos’s visit to Vietnam in 2016, under which Romania pledged to increase its scholarships to Vietnam from 10 to 20 each year. Romania has so far trained more than 3,000 Vietnamese students and postgraduates of different majors.
Cong suggested the two countries increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, organise further cultural and art exchange programmes and exhibitions, while also expanding partnerships in economy-trade, culture, education, science-technology, tourism, and employment.
Vietnam and Romania should work together to bring their trade ties to a new level, he said, calling on the two Governments to offer incentives to businesses which are pioneers in investing in the respective markets.
He also proposed establishing a joint venture specialising in the producing and processing of seafood, wine, and agricultural products to export to other countries.
Cong noted his belief that Deputy PM and FM Minh’s visit will create optimal conditions, better opportunities, and a greater momentum for the two countries to seek new measures in order to advance their bilateral ties more effectively and sustainably.