|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Jose Manual Garcia Margallo.— VNA/VNS Photo Doan Tan
HA NOI (VNS)— The foreign ministers of Viet Nam and Spain agreed on measures to boost bilateral ties at talks held here yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Co-operation Jose Manual Garcia Margallo said the two sides should increase communications and the exchange of delegations, while optimising existing channels, such as political consultations at deputy foreign-minister level and the joint committee on development co-operation.
They also agreed to create favourable conditions for businesses in both countries to meet and establish links.
The two politicians said that attention should be paid to expanding collaboration in culture, education-training, transport, tourism and security-defence.
They also agreed to maintain close co-ordination at international and regional forums, particularly those in the framework of the United Nations, ASEAN-EU and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Viet Nam pledged to work as a bridge to help Spain expand its relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and member countries.
Spain affirmed its support for stronger relations between Viet Nam and the EU, including swift recognition of Viet Nam's full market-economy status.
Minister Margallo, who is accompanied by 15 leading Spanish business people, is making visiting at the invitation of Foreign Minister Minh, who is also Viet Nam's Deputy Prime Minister.
He told his hosts that Viet Nam's impressive growth rate and Spain's recovered economy were major factors strengthening ties.
Speaking at a dialogue organised by Viet Nam Chamber of Commercial and Industry (VCCI) and the Spanish Embassy, he said Spain, the fourth economy in the Eurozone, was recovering from crisis, thanks to reforms in institutions and the financial and real estate sector.
Margallo said Spain was willing to share its experiences in tackling economic difficulties as well as its strength areas, including infrastructure, tourism, and energy.
Vice President of VCCI Hoang Van Dung said Viet Nam was seeking investment in infrastructure, telecommunications, renewable energy, and food processing.
Relations between Viet Nam and Spain have developed considerably in recent years, especially since they set up a strategic partnership in 2009.
Last year, Spain was the 59th largest investor in Viet Nam with a registered investment of US$35.5 million. In 2013, Viet Nam's exports to Spain reached US$2.11 billion, up 17.81 per cent over 2012. Its key exports to Spain are garments, telephone, and accessories, footwear, coffee, and seafood.
Meanwhile, Viet Nam mainly imports chemicals, machines, equipment, tools, spare parts, plastic materials, pharmaceuticals, apparel, and footwear materials from the European nation.
The two countries are implementing several joint projects, including the construction of the Noi Bai- Lao Cai Expressway, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems in Ha Noi and Hai Phong, and urban metro routes in Ha Noi and HCM City. — VNS