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Foreign Minister holds talks with visiting Slovenian official

By VNA 05/23/2023 19:36 |

Hanoi, May 23 (VNA) - Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son on May 23 held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of Slovenia Tanja Fajon, who is on an official visit to Vietnam from May 22-23.

During the talks, Son affirmed that Vietnam always attaches importance to and wishes to strengthen the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Slovenia - a traditional partner and friend of Vietnam in the Central Eastern Europe.

He welcomed Fajon’s first visit to Vietnam, saying that it is an important milestone which helps deepen bilateral relations between the two nations.

Fajon affirmed that Slovenia always attaches importance to and wants to boost relations with Vietnam - its most important partner in Southeast Asia.

The two officials acknowledged with their pleasure that over the past 30 years, the traditional friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Slovenia have been developing positively in many fields, especially politics - diplomacy and  economy - trade.

They agreed on measures to boost cooperation in potential fields in the coming time, saying that there is ample room for the two countries to further step up the bilateral cooperation.

The two sides underlined the need to promote the exchange of all-level delegations; enhance cooperation across channels of State, Government, and National Assembly and people-to-people exchanges; and closely coordinate and support each other at multilateral forums and international organisations.

The ministers highly valued the signing of a cooperation agreement between the two ministries on this occasion, which provides a legal foundation for the ministries' partnership and contributes to enhancing political understanding and trust between the two countries.

Regarding trade relations, Son suggested the two sides work closely to fully tap opportunities brought by the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and called on the Slovenian side to increase investment in areas where Vietnam has demand and Slovenia has strengths such as shipping, logistics, and water and waste management.

Fajon affirmed that Slovenia will soon ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA); and push for the European Commission (EC)'s early lifting of its “yellow card” warning against Vietnam's seafood exports.

She expressed the hope that the two nations will enhance cooperation in the fields of green technology, renewable energy, environmental protection, seaports, and logistics.

The two sides also discussed measures to promote cooperation in new areas such as education - training, and culture - tourism.

Touching upon regional and international issues of common concern, the ministers emphasised the importance of ensuring security, safety and freedom of navigation and aviation in the East Sea; as well as settling disputes by peaceful measures on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Son and Fajon signed a cooperation agreement between the two ministries after their talks.

The same day, Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien received the Slovenian Deputy PM, during which the two sides discussed cooperation plans in 2023, including the organisation of the third meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic Cooperation between the two countries slated for October 2023 in Slovenia.

Dien underlined the great potential and prospect for the two nations to expand trade ties, saying that the structures of import and export goods of Vietnam and Slovenia are complementary.

This is a favourable condition for businesses of the two countries to set up cooperative relationship, and diversify supply chains, especially in agricultural and fishery products, textiles and garments, footwear, furniture, household appliances, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, and machinery, he said.

Global difficulties and challenges require the two countries to cooperate more closely and effectively, especially in  trade and investment, to jointly respond to and improve the resilience of each economy, and effectively take advantage of the EVFTA, he stressed.

For her part, Fajon expressed her hope that the opening of the Slovenian Consulate in Vietnam in the coming time will create a great motivation for the bilateral relations, especially economic and trade ties.

She affirmed that Slovenia always considers Vietnam an important economic partner in Southeast Asia, and a market Slovenia wishes to develop cooperation with, especially in renewable energy, logistics and pharmaceuticals.

Representatives from the Ministry of Industry and Trade took the occasion to answer questions of Slovenian businesses related to opportunities for cooperation and investment between the two countries, especially in logistics and maritime transport.

The two-way trade between Vietnam and Slovenia increased over 12 times, from 46.1 million USD in 2012 to over 573 million USD in 2022. The trade turnover still maintained its growth momentum over the last two years, with year-on-year rises of 38.3% in 2021 and 14.8% in 2022./.