VOV.VN - Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to strengthen the strategic partnership with Spain, National Assembly (NA) Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man said during his separate talks with and First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain Alfonso Rodriguez in Madrid on March 16 as part of activities during his four-day working visit to Spain.
During the talks, Man affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to strengthen the strategic partnership with Spain. He also hailed the positive progress in the relations between the two countries and the two legislatures over the past time.
Vice President Tran Thanh Man showed his elation to see that economic cooperation between the two nations continued to enjoy a new step of development despite being heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Vietnamese NA leader congratulated the country on its holding of the rotating European Council Presidency in the second half of 2023 and asked it to further promote and turn the ASEAN - EU cooperation into a priority in the EU’s agenda.
He thanked Spain for ratifying the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) early and called on the country, during its European Council Presidency, to help accelerate the ratification of the EVIPA by the parliaments of other EU members, thus creating momentum for bilateral investment on the basis of equality and mutual benefits and helping provide optimum conditions for European firms operating in Vietnam.
Man suggested Spain continue backing Vietnam’s candidacy for membership in suitable UN mechanisms and keep close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organizations, especially the UN, the ASEAN - EU framework, and the Asia - Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Calling for Spain’s support for the European Commission’s early removal of its “yellow card” warning against Vietnam’s seafood exports to bring about benefits to both sides, Man affirmed that Vietnam has been stepping up efforts to fully and seriously carry out the EU’s recommendations related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to sustainably develop the fishery sector.
Man also voiced his hope that Spain will keep raising a strong voice advocating ASEAN and Vietnam’s stances and viewpoints, including those on ensuring security and safety of navigation and overflight in the region; peacefully settling disputes in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and supporting negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea.
He thanked and suggested Spain continue offering optimal conditions for the Vietnamese community to live and integrate into the local society so that they can help enhance the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.
Regarding relations between the Vietnamese and Spanish parliaments, both sides voiced their delight at the flourishing cooperation as seen in the maintained coordination and mutual support at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia - Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP), along with delegation exchanges, especially at high levels.
Welcoming the Vietnamese delegation, Vice President of the Senate Narbona said both the Senate and the Congress of Deputies of Spain have some parliamentary friendship groups, so both nations can establish similar groups to intensify exchanges.
Spain opened a trade office in Vietnam in 2022 to facilitate Spanish businesses’ operations and contribute to bilateral economic ties, she noted, adding that it is strong at expressway construction, energy, electricity, and water treatment and ready to take part in projects in Vietnam.
Concerning Vietnam’s proposals, she promised to deliver them to the Senate and related ministries and agencies for consideration to help further enhance all-round relations.
In response, Vice President of the Congress of Deputies Rodriguez suggested the two sides promote high-level mutual visits, saying amid the volatile global situation, both Vietnam and Spain hold many advantages to jointly tap into, including Vietnam’s important geographical location in the Asia-Pacific region.
During its EU Council Presidency, Spain will focus on four priorities, namely cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation in guaranteeing maritime security, the connectivity of economies, and natural disaster response, Rodriguez added.
Also the same day, Man had a working session with Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon, during which he assessed that the relationship between Vietnam and Spain is progressing well, and hoped that the two sides would continue to closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral forums and international organizations, especially in the United Nations, within the framework of ASEAN-EU and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Besides socio-economic policies, the two sides also compared notes on international issues of shared concern.