14:36 | 24/05/2017 MUTRAP Corner
On May 23, Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had talks with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis in Madrid, Spain, which which was part of his visit to Spain from May 23-25. The trip is made to coincide the 40 years of the countries’ diplomatic ties.
The two countries’ top diplomats said cooperation between Vietnam and Spain, on the basis of the strategic partnership towards the future set up in 2009, has developed soundly over the past years.
The growth in bilateral ties is seen through regular meetings between the countries’ ministries and sectors at all levels, close coordination and mutual support at international forums, increased cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and soaring trade revenue, approximating EUR3 billion (US$3.37 billion) in 2016.
To deepen bilateral cooperation, they agreed to continue increasing mutual visits at all levels and enhance diplomatic and security-defence dialogues as well as political consultations at the deputy ministerial level. They also concurred to effectively implement the fifth financial programme, which was signed during the current visit of Deputy PM Minh.
They said the first meeting of the joint committee on economics, trade and investment should be held soon, agreeing to work to lift bilateral trade to EUR5 billion ( US$5.61 billion) by 2020.
The two ministers valued the coordination between both countries’ ministries and sectors in organising important events marking the 40th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, especially the ongoing Vietnam Culture Days festival in Spain.
Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh acknowledged the Spanish Government’s support to Vietnam through financial programmes, stressing the resolve to work with Spain to realise the strategic partnership in all spheres, especially in economy, transport infrastructure, renewable energy, hi-tech agriculture and the environment.
He affirmed that Vietnam is ready to provide the best possible conditions for foreign enterprises, including those from Spain, to do business and invest in the fields matching Spain’s strengths.
Minister Dastis said the Spanish Government prioritises relations with Vietnam, and the Spanish people and businesses are taking increasing interest in Vietnam as shown in more than 58,000 Spanish tourists to Vietnam in 2016 and a number of investment and trade promotion events over the last couple of years.
On spirit of mutual understanding and trust, the officials also exchanged views on international regional issues of mutual concern, affirming that their countries will maintain close cooperation at regional and international forums. Spain affirmed its support for Vietnam’s development of comprehensive cooperation with the European Union (EU) and access to favourable financial sources of the International Development Association after 2017. It also advocates the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, Dastis added.