Vice Chairman of the Vietnam National Assembly Phung Quoc Hien held talks with Vice President of the Norwegian Parliament Svien Roald Hansen in Norway on September 22 to deepen relations between the two countries and legislative bodies.
They agreed to maintain delegation exchanges, step up political consultations and support each other at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially the UN, the Asia-Europe Meeting and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Vietnam is willing to serve as a bridge between Norway and ASEAN, Hien said, calling for Norway’s support for Vietnam’s bid for a seat at the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.
Vietnam also hopes that Norway will maintain its official development assistance to the country and replicate its projects in aquaculture and rural economic development in disadvantaged areas, he noted.
The Vietnamese legislator suggested Norway assist Vietnam in aquaculture, maritime economy and ocean protection.
He said Vietnam expects that Norway will keep its doors open for Vietnamese goods, especially agro-forestry-fishery products, garments-textiles, and footwear.
Host and guest maintained that investment ties have yet to hit their potential. Two-way trade reached about US$189 million as of June 2016.
Norway is running 31 projects valued at more than US$89.2 million in Vietnam, ranking 46 th out of 116 countries and territories investing in the country.
Svien Roald Hansen said he will lead a delegation of Norwegian parliamentarians to Vietnam in October to accelerate the signing of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association, which comprises Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
The agreement is expected to create a framework for Vietnam and Norway to boost cooperation in maritime economic development, he said.
Host and guest expressed their hope that the two countries will work together to address global challenges like climate change and marine pollution.
While in Norway, NA Vice Chairman Hien met with Finance Minister Siv Jensen, during which the two sides agreed to encourage Norwegian firms to operate in Vietnam.
Many Norwegian firms are interested in the Vietnamese market and plan to invest in navigation and fisheries in the country, Siv Jensen said.
The Vietnamese law-maker noted that Vietnam hopes to exchange its experience with Norway in international economic integration as well as challenges in public debt management.