HA NOI — Viet Nam and Luxembourg have agreed to deepen bilateral ties, especially in finance and banking, insurance, heavy industry, tourism and transport services.
This was agreed during talks between Luxembourg's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn and Viet Nam's visiting Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, on Tuesday.
Asselborn said Minh's visit, the first by a Vietnamese Foreign Minister since 1994, marked a new phase in the relationship. It comes as the two countries prepare to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2013.
Minh said he was delighted to visit Luxembourg, the first European country he had set foot in since taking office.
The two sides agreed to boost co-operation in science and technology, the environment and sustainable development, health, information and communications and cultural exchanges.
They applauded the outcomes of several joint development projects and agreed to get remaining projects, agreed under the Viet Nam-Luxembourg Orientation Co-operation Programme from 2011-15, up and running as soon as possible. These focus on health, vocational training and rural development in areas with socio-economic difficulties.
Minh suggested Luxembourg encourage universities, research centres and institutes to exchange researchers and students with their Vietnamese partners as well as support Viet Nam in French language training, international relations and drawing up new legislation.
They agreed to discuss visa exemptions for the holders of diplomatic passports and that Viet Nam and Luxembourg continue to work closely at international forums and organisations.
Minh said Viet Nam would help Luxembourg broaden its ties with ASEAN, while Asselborn said Luxembourg would assist Viet Nam develop its relationship with the EU and back its bid to secure EU recognition.
Later, Minh met Luxembourg's Minister of Development Co-operation, Marie-Josee Jacops, to discuss implementing Luxembourg's Official Development Aid projects in Viet Nam. — VNS