|PM Pham Minh Chinh (R) and Speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly Rosen Dimitrov Jeliazkov.__Photo: VNA
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has expressed his belief that that the ongoing visit to Vietnam by Speaker of the Bulgarian National Assembly Rosen Dimitrov Jeliazkov will be a success, opening up a new chapter in the long-standing relations between the two countries.
Meeting with the Speaker in Hanoi on January 8, PM Chinh said Vietnam always treasures its fine, loyal, enduring friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Bulgaria and remembers the European country's valuable support during its struggle for national independence and reunification, as well as in the current process of national construction and development.
Vietnam considers Bulgaria one of its key partners in Central and Eastern Europe, he said.
Jeliazkov, for his part, asserted that Bulgaria considers Vietnam one of its important partners in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Bulgaria wants to enhance multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam to fully optimize their vast potential, he said.
Speaking highly of the positive development in bilateral cooperation across all fields, the host and guest concurred on the need to continue facilitating visits and meetings at all levels and via all channels, and effectively carrying out bilateral cooperation mechanisms and agreements.
Despite global economic downturn last year, two-way trade still surpassed USD 200 million but failed to match potential. Therefore, they shared a commitment to boost coordination, with the hope of attracting more Vietnamese and Bulgarian firms and investors to invest in each other's country.
Recognizing complementary factors in the two economies, PM Chinh proposed making economic cooperation a pillar of the bilateral ties with the goal of achieving USD 500 million in annual two-way trade soon.
Jeliazkov expressed his desire to strengthen ties in trade and investment, focusing on areas of the two nations' strengths such as high-tech agriculture, pharmaceuticals, information technology, tourism, culture, high-tech industries, and aviation.
On this occasion, the PM proposed Bulgaria push forward the European Commission (EC)’s removal of yellow card warning against Vietnamese seafood products. He thanked the Bulgarian NA for its ratification of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and suggested Bulgaria encourage other EU member states to approve so that it could be enforced soon.
He thanked Bulgaria for its assistance in training tens of thousands of Vietnamese officials, students and graduates, including many high-ranking Vietnamese leaders. He proposed both sides explore new potential for educational cooperation to attract their students and graduates to each other's educational establishments, particularly in the fields of their strengths.
Considering labor cooperation a traditional and highly promising area, the PM suggested the two governments promptly sign an agreement to make it easier for enterprises to carry out labor cooperation projects in Bulgaria, particularly in health care, construction, apparel and agriculture.
The guest said Bulgarian enterprises welcome skilled Vietnamese workers coming to work in the European country.
The PM thanked and suggested the Bulgarian Government and NA continue creating favorable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to live, work and study in the host country, thereby helping to uphold their role as a bridge between the two nations.
On global and regional issues of shared concern, he proposed Bulgaria support ASEAN and Vietnam's stances on the East Sea issue, which includes ensuring safety and freedom of navigation and overflight, and peacefully settling disputes in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Vietnam is ready to work as a gateway and a bridge for Bulgaria to deepen its cooperation with ASEAN, he affirmed.-(VNA/VLLF)