|Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov
In a reception for visiting Bulgarian Minister of Economy Emil Karanikolov in Hanoi, Deputy PM Hue said he hopes Bulgaria will increase investment in Vietnam in fields that overlap between the former’s strengths and the latter’s needs, such as healthcare, high-tech agriculture, IT, renewable energy, and urban management.
He highlighted the traditional friendship between the two nations, affirming that their political and diplomatic ties have been promoted fruitfully through visits made by their high-ranking leaders.
The two sides have continued to maintain consultations on issues of their common concern and closely cooperated at regional and global forums, especially the UN, the ASEAN-EU cooperation mechanisms, and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), he added.
According to the Vietnamese official, economic and trade cooperation has recorded positive development, however it remains limited and is yet to live up to its full potential.
Two-way trade only reaches around US$100 million per year. Bulgaria’s investment in Vietnam is also modest, reaching only US$30 million.
The Deputy PM also called on the Bulgarian side to create favourable conditions for Vietnam’s agricultural products to access the European country, and asked Bulgaria to back and promote the official signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
He stressed the need to soon convene the 24th meeting of the Vietnam-Bulgaria Intergovernmental Committee on economic and science-technology cooperation, thus discussing how to expand economic and trade links between the two nations in the coming time.
For his part, Emil Karanikolov affirmed that the Bulgarian Government attaches great importance to Vietnam and congratulates the nation on its socio-economic achievements during its “Doi moi” (renewal) process.
Bulgaria will actively push the EU to soon sign the EVFTA and be one of the first countries to approve the agreement at the parliament, he said.
“With cooperation mechanisms between the two sides, especially Bulgarian incentives for Vietnamese commodities, we hope to become a gateway for Vietnamese products to enter European markets,” he added.
He also informed the host about his working sessions with the Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade, representatives from the Hanoi People’s Committee, and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group.