|The meeting between the CPV delegation and Portuguese senior officials (Photo: VNA).
The CPV delegation paid a two-day working visit to Portugal on September 19- 20.
At the working sessions with Vice President of the Portuguese parliament Jorge Lacao and Secretary of State for Internationalisation of the Portuguese Foreign Ministry Eurico Brilhante Dias, Binh greatly valued the time-honoured relationship between the two nations with remarkable progress in bilateral cooperation.
It is worthy of note is that trade turnover hit US$ 500 million in 2018 in comparison with just approximately US$300 million several years ago.
Binh thanked Portugal for backing Vietnam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 and the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).
He also asked the country to continue supporting the ratification of these agreement at the Portuguese and European parliaments. He expressed his confidence that after being ratified, the deals will open up a new chapter for strong trade, economic and investment ties between Vietnam and the EU, including in the industries of Portugal’s strength such as navigation, tourism, petrochemistry and mining.
Binh informed the Portuguese officials about the recent complex developments in the East Sea, calling on the country to advocate Vietnam’s stance on this issue.
Vice President of the Assembly of the Republic Jorge Lacao and Secretary of State of the Foreign Ministry Eurico Brilhante Dias pledged to foster the two countries’ relations, whilst affirming his nation’s recognition of importance to Vietnam in its strategy for the enhancement of ties with ASEAN in economic field and people-to-people exchange as well.
The host officials voiced their support for Binh’s proposal on promoting the teaching of Portuguese language in Vietnam.
With regard to the East Sea issue, Jorge Lacao expressed his attention to ensuring trade and law compliance at sea. Meanwhile, Eurico Brilhante Dias shared the view that sea-related disputes should be settled through negotiations and dialogue.
As Vietnam will assume the ASEAN Chair in 2020 and Portugal will hold the EU Presidency in 2021, both nations will have numerous chances to step up cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, between Portugal and ASEAN, as well as between ASEAN and the EU, the Secretary of State noted.
At a meeting with representatives of the Portuguese agency for investment promotion and business support and some local enterprises, Binh touched upon investment and business opportunities in Vietnam, alongside the country’s economic advantages with a market of nearly 100 million people and as part of larger markets within the framework of ASEAN, the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the EVFTA and some other FTAs.
In reply, the Portuguese firms said they consider Vietnam a priority for cooperation with and desire to run long-term investment and business operations there.
During the talks with permanent member of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP)’s Secretariat Jose Capucho and other senior officials of the party, Binh highlighted Vietnam’s development achievements, preparations for the CPV’s 13th National Congress in early 2021, and the escalating tensions in the East Sea in recent times.
He suggested the PCP go ahead its coordination with the CPV across a wide range of activities of political parties. He also asked the PCP, with its stature and prestige in Portugal and the European Parliament, back the ratification of the EVFTA and the IPA.
The PCP officials briefed the CPV delegation on the PCP’s efforts to protect the interests of the working class in Portugal.
Concerning the East Sea situation, they expressed their party’s consistent support for Vietnam’s stance that is disputes must be settled by negotiations and peaceful measures on the basis of respect for international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
After the trip to Portugal, the CPV delegation is due to visit Spain and attend the EU-Asia Connectivity Forum held by the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium.