Deputy PM’s visit deemed milestone in Vietnam-Spain relations

The freshly concluded official visit to Spain by Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on the occasion of 40 years of the countries’ diplomatic relations is an important milestone in the promotion of bilateral ties in the years to come.

deputy pm’s visit deemed milestone in vietnam-spain relations hinh 0
The remark was made by Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Europe Department Le Dung during an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency on the outcomes of the visit and the prospect of Vietnam-Spain relations.

According to the Director, Spain is an important European partner of Vietnam, with which Vietnam set up a strategic partnership in 2009.

The trip from May 23-25 was part of an action programme for implementing the strategic partnership, he noted, adding that the two sides have made big strides in all-round cooperation, from politics, diplomacy to trade, culture, education and defence.

Spain is currently the sixth biggest European trade partner of Vietnam. Their trade revenue has been surging, approximating 3 billion EUR in 2016. Meanwhile, nearly 60,000 Spanish tourists came to Vietnam last year, doubling the figure in 2010.

The tour by Deputy PM and FM Minh reeled in very significant outcomes, including the enhancement of political trust, Dung said, noting that the King and other leaders of Spain emphasised that they attach importance to the development of ties with Vietnam.

Two important documents were signed during the visit, including the fifth financial programme, which will pave the way for cooperation projects until 2020. The other, an agreement on economic, trade and investment cooperation, is meant to prepare for the establishment of a Vietnam-Spain inter-governmental committee on economic, trade and investment cooperation. 

The documents solidified the legal framework for bilateral connections in prioritised fields such as infrastructure, renewable energy, environment, and hi-tech agriculture, Dung added.

He said both sides affirmed that they will lift their cooperation at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, ASEM and ASEAN-EU, to a new level. They vowed to support each other and coordinate their stance on regional and international issues of shared concern.

Vietnam and Spain have good conditions to strongly develop bilateral linkages in the time ahead, Dung said, stressing that both have very high political resolve to intensify their ties. They also inked a number of important documents serving as the legal framework for the two countries’ relations. In addition, the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) is set to be signed and ratified in late 2017 or early next year.

The countries targeted US$5 billion in two-way trade by 2020, which is ambitious, but Spain affirmed that with their political resolve, favourable investment climate and commitments, along with the EVFTA, this target is achievable, Dung said.

He added thanks to the fifth financial programme, more and more Spanish investors will come to Vietnam, which in turn will provide the best possible conditions for them.

At a business forum held during the Deputy PM’s visit, a number of Spanish investors showed their interest in the Vietnamese market in the spheres they have strength in like environment, infrastructure, renewable energy and, especially, tourism, Dung noted, adding that the EU nation pledged to share experience in tourism management and expressed its readiness to advise Vietnam about building a tourism development plan until 2030.

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