| Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (left) and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc held talks with his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg, on May 24 morning (local time) in Oslo during which PM Phuc affirmed Vietnam’s recognition of great importance to developing the traditional friendship and all-around cooperation with Norway – the country’s important partner in Northern Europe.
PM Phuc thanked the Norwegian Government and people for their continuous official development assistance (ODA) to Vietnam over the past years, which has helped the country in socio-economic development and fulfillment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as well as international integration.
He called on the Nordic nation to maintain its development cooperation with Vietnam and support the Southeast Asian nation in such areas as the environment, education, economic management, administrative reform, and bomb and mine clearance.
The two PMs hailed bilateral cooperation in specialized fields, which have been growing steadily, especially in the areas of forestry, the environment, seafood, renewable energy and sea transport and shipbuilding.
They consented to speed up negotiations of the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EVFTA), to which Norway is the coordinator.
The two countries will incentivize their businesses to expand their operation in the respective market, particularly in solar energy, petroleum technological services and blue economy.
They will also promote the consumption and quality of their seafood, including Vietnam’s tra fish and Norway’s salmon.
The two leaders were appreciative of strong developments in the bilateral ties across multiple fields over the past time and concurred to intensify all-level delegation exchanges in order to provide momentum for stronger cooperation in a multitude of fields.
They praised the Vietnam-Norway Business Forum which was held earlier the same day in Oslo as part of PM’s Phuc ongoing visit, saying the event helped enterprises seek cooperation opportunities and expand their investment and business.
Regarding partnership in education-training and culture, and agreed to assign the two countries’ ministries to promote collaboration in new realms regarding women, peace and security, tourism and sports, and people-to-people exchange.
|Overview of the talks
PM Erna Solberg expressed her confidence that PM Phuc’s visit will contribute to the enhancement of the Vietnam-Norway ties and hailed the role of the 20,000-strong Vietnamese community in Norway in developing the friendship and exchange between the two peoples.
PM Phuc suggested the Norwegian Government to offer more favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to work and integrate in the host society.
Host and guest called on both nations to enhance closer coordination at multilateral forums, especially the United Nations, and within the cooperation framework of ASEAN-Norway and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in the context that both countries are running for non-permanent seats at the UN Security Council, with Vietnam’s bid for the 2020-2021 term and Norway for the 2021-2022 tenure.
They affirmed their common commitments to sustainable and inclusive development in line with the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, underlining affiliation in forest protection, response to climate change and sea level rise, and plastic waste management.
Both PMs showed their elation at the two countries’ mutual support at international forums and multi-lateral organizations, as well as their joint efforts to join hands with the international community for not only sustainable development but also the global peace.
Concerning the East Sea issue, they compared notes on the importance of and underscored the need to ensure peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the area.
All disputes should be settled by peaceful measures, in accordance with international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other relevant regional documents, they said.
PM Phuc invited his Norwegian counterpart to visit Vietnam again in the near future and his invitation was graciously accepted by PM Erna Solberg.
The same days, the PMs co-hosted a press conference to announce the outcomes of their talks.
Norwegian PM Solberg glowingly spoke of the cooperation in the trade and business between Vietnam and Norway, affirming that the two sides will continue to expand cooperation in a wide range of fields in the time ahead, especially in sea-based economy, renewable energy and natural liquefied gas.
The leaders also pledged to to soon sign the Vietnam-Norway free trade agreement.
Solberg congratulated Vietnam on its commitment to realising sustainable development goals (MDGs) in the framework of its national development strategy, and achievements in poverty reduction.
Vietnamese and Norwegian leaders discussed ways to mobilise bilateral and multilateral resources to deal with global challenges related to the environment, she added.
In reply, PM Phuc said the two countries consented to bolster cooperation across various fields, including trade, investment, blue sea economy, and clean energy.
The two sides showed their resolve to finalize negotiations and sign a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which is expected to open new investment and business cooperation opportunities for both countries.
They lauded the results of the Vietnam-Norway Business Forum, while sharing cooperation possibility between the two countries in the fields of blue and sustainable sea economy, renewable energy, and sea pollution settlement.
PM Phuc said Vietnam will send representatives to the 6th Ocean Conference hosted by Norway in October.