09:34 | 12/01/2017 MUTRAP Corner
Vietnam and Spain should step up their relations across the board, especially politics, economy, trade and investment, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said while meeting Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Ignacio Ybáñez Rubio in Hanoi on January 10.
The Spanish official is in Hanoi for the two countries’ fourth deputy foreign ministerial–level political consultation.
Spain is currently a big EU trade partner of Vietnam, posting a trade value of US$2.9 billion in 2016. However, the country’s investment in Vietnam remains below its potential.
“The Vietnamese Government will provide all possible conditions for Spanish businesspeople to operate successfully in Vietnam,” Deputy PM Minh said.
He asked the two foreign ministries to work together closely for the successful organisation of celebrations for the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Spain diplomatic ties in 2017, bringing the strategic partnership to the next level in service of their people.
Ybáñez stated that Vietnam is one of Spain’s important partners in the region and that Span is eager to increase its presence in Vietnam through new agreements and cooperative projects, especially in economy.
He said he wants the two countries to continue implementing cooperation mechanisms, and coordinating in organising events to mark the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the Secretary of State said Spain supports the settlement of disputes in the sea area through peaceful means and in compliance with international law and common norms, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.
Earlier, in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency, Secretary of State Ybáñez affirmed his desire to reinforce Spain’s strategic partnership with Vietnam, which was established in 2009.
He said his visit’s purpose is to deepen the relations between the two countries and that Spain wants to become a close partner of Vietnam, particularly in terms of trade.
Spain highly values Vietnam’s role in Asia, especially in Southeast Asia. Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia are Spain’s three leading partners in ASEAN, he said.
Spain and Vietnam signed an agreement on investment protection and an agreement on double taxation avoidance to facilitate their businesses’ investment activities.