11:30 | 15/05/2015 Cooperation
President Truong Tan Sang and his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev have agreed that Vietnam and Azerbaijan are having tremendous opportunities for stronger cooperation in politics, economics and trade.
At their talks on May 14 in Baku, the two leaders examined ways to strengthen the ties of friendship and all-round cooperation and compared notes on regional and international issues of shared concern.
President Ilham Aliyev said President Sang’s first official visit to Azerbaijan is of great significance, creating momentum for the consolidation and development of the time-honoured friendship between the two nations.
He extolled Vietnam’s remarkable renewal achievements and its rising international status in Southeast Asia, adding that his nation always attaches high importance to developing the friendship and multifaceted cooperation with Vietnam that is considered an important partner in the region.
For his part, President Sang expressed his pleasure at the achievements the Azerbaijani people have recorded in the national construction and development process as well as its elevating international profile.
In pursuit of the foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, persification and multilateralization of external relations and proactive international integration, Vietnam is keen to forge relations with Azerbaijan, considering it a major partner in the South Caucasus region.
The two State leaders informed each other about the recent situation in their respective country and discussed a score of measures to boost Vietnam- Azerbaijan cooperation in economics, trade and investment.
Both sides consented to intensify exchange visits between ministries, especially within the economic sector and business associations and enhance trade promotion activities to expand market share of Vietnamese goods in Azerbaijan and vice versa, aiming to raise two-way trade from more than US$400 million in 2014 to US$1billion in the years to come.
They concurred to soon hold the first session of the Vietnam-Azerbaijan Intergovernmental Committee for economic, trade and scientific and technological cooperation to supervise and speed up the implementation of high-level agreements and outline future cooperation orientations.
The two sides underlined the importance of priotizing oil and gas cooperation in their long-term strategy. President Aliyev pledged to create favorable conditions, including the legal basis for promoting Vietnam’s investment in Azerbaijan towards expanding cooperation in oil exploration in third countries. They also showed their keen interest in cooperation in other potential areas like light industry and real estate.
The pair agreed upon measures to step up cooperation in labour, construction, health care, transportation, education - training, tourism, including the opening of direct flights between the two countries.
President Sang also briefed his host on the recent developments in the East Sea and confirmed ASEAN and Vietnam’s stance on settlement of maritime disputes by peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, including the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) towards building a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) as a contribution to ensuring peace, security and maritime safety in the region.
The Azerbaijani President advocates Vietnam’s stance on settling disputes by peaceful means without the use of force or threat to use force in accordance with international law and the UN Charter.
He also updated Sang about the conflict resolution in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia. The two sides agreed that all conflicts must be resolved by peaceful means based on international law and the UN Charter.
The two sides highly appreciated closer cooperation between the two countries at international forums, especially the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Sang suggested Azerbaijan back Vietnam’s candidacy at the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for the 2016-2018 tenure and non-permanent membership at the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.
After the talks, the two Presidents hosted a press briefing to announce the outcome of the talks and witnessed the signing of some cooperative agreements on customs, air transport, agriculture, oil, and gas.
Meeting with Speaker of the National Assembly of Azerbaijan Ogtay Asadov the same day, Sang said Vietnam treasures ties with traditional friends, including Azerbaijan.
Two-way trade remains modest, requiring both sides to boost cooperation in areas of their strengths such as oil and gas, farm produce trading, and the light industry.
He also asked for all possible support for the two business communities to bolster their trade.
Sang also thanked the Azerbaijani legislative body for sending a delegation to Vietnam for the 132 nd Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly last March, considering it as a contribution to success of the event.
The two sides were also unanimous in sharing law-making experience through exchange visits, creating a legal framework for bilateral collaboration and monitoring the realization of signed agreements and commitments.