President backs stronger co-operation with Panama
HA NOI (VNS)— President Truong Tan Sang urged Panama's government to continue facilitating Panamanian investments in Viet Nam and, conversely, Vietnamese projects in Panama, particularly in the fields of construction, shipbuilding and repair and production of imports.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong (right) meets with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli. — VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung
|President Truong Tan Sang (left) welcomes Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli yesterday on his official visit to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
He made this statement during his talks yesterday with Ricardo Martinelli, President of the Republic of Panama, who is currently on an official four-day working visit to the country.
Sang expressed his sincere thanks to Panama's government and people for their support to the country so far and emphasised that the two countries shared many similarities. Both nations had fought bitter struggles for independence; both had also made tireless efforts to promote peace, democracy and social progress.
He said the two countries had a long history of mutual support in bilateral and multilateral forums, noting that Panama was one of the first Latin American countries to recognise Viet Nam's market economy status.
The President suggested Panama keep creating favourable conditions for Viet Nam's goods to be introduced into Panama's market, and recommended that the two countries continue supporting one another in multilateral forums such as the United Nations, Non-aligned Movement and Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC).
Martinelli said he highly appreciated Viet Nam's status, prestige and achievements during its Doi Moi (Renewal) process.
He affirmed that Panama was always willing to improve co-operative relations with Viet Nam in the fields of trade and investment, agriculture, banking and finance, insurance, science and technology, transnational crime combat and prevention, culture, education and training and tourism.
Martinelli also stressed that Panama is ready to act as a bridge for Vietnamese goods to penetrate Latin American markets and suggested that Viet Nam share its experiences in growing rice and coffee.
Finally, he expressed his hope that Vietnamese investors would take an interest in developing canals in Panama.
The two leaders reached several agreements on measures to boost the two countries' co-operative relations. These include holding further dialogues and supporting each other in international organisations and multilateral forums.
They also discussed regional and world issues.
President Ricardo Martinelli praised the development potential of East Asia and Southeast Asia and expressed his hope to cooperate further with the regions in the maritime sector. Panama plans to open regional maritime representative offices in Hai Phong and HCM City, he said.
The two leaders witnessed the signing of a Cultural Co-operation Agreement between the two countries and a Memorandum of Understanding setting up political consulting mechanisms between the two ministries of foreign affairs.
On the same day, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong met with Martinelli, who informed him of the results of the earlier talks.
Trong expressed pleasure at the progress in the two countries' relations, noting in particular the agreements on boosting bilateral co-operation in trade, economy and the maritime sector.
Martinelli expressed his respect for Viet Nam's Communist Party and people and his admiration for the devotion and virtue of Ho Chi Minh.
The two leaders agreed to increase exchanges between the two leading parties, national assemblies and people in the coming time.
Later yesterday, Chairman of National Assembly Nguyen Sinh Hung also spoke with Martinelli.
Hung expressed happiness over the establishment of the Panama-Viet Nam friendly group in the national assembly.
He stressed that Viet Nam's National Assembly would support the country's friendly and co-operative relations with Panama and hoped that the two national assemblies would hold more exchanges of legislative activities.
On the same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung met with Martinelli and affirmed that although much progress had been made concerning the two countries' co-operation, there remains significant room for improvement.
He suggested that the two countries should soon reach an agreement on Viet Nam-Panama Trade and Investment Co-operation, establish a co-operation committee between the two governments and work together in the sectors of trade, science and technology, culture and tourism.
Martinelli said this was the first time a Panamanian president had visited Viet Nam and he would strive to further improve the two countries' relations. He also promised to work with Viet Nam to implement co-operation in the fields suggested by Prime Minister Dung, especially when it came to taking specific measures such as the signing of the Viet Nam-Panama Trade and Investment Co-operation Agreement by the end of this year.
He also suggested that the two countries work together in education and training, such as by exchanging students and teachers. — VNS