|President Truong Tan Sang (right) receives Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek on his official visit to Viet Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS)— The Czech Government backs the early completion of negotiations and signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Union, affirmed Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek.
At his meeting with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang in Hanoi on Friday, the FM said that his country hopes Vietnam would become one of its strong partners in Asia to intensify bilateral economic and trade cooperation and deal with global issues, as Vietnam's position in the international arena has improved.
The two countries were seeing stable economic development, Lubomir Zaoralek said, suggesting both sides take advantage of this situation to further cooperation.
A Czech entrepreneurial delegation accompanying him attended business forums in HCM City and Ha Noi, and organised an industrial machinery fair to seek long-term cooperation with Vietnamese partners, he said.
He also appreciated the positive integration of the 100,000-strong Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic and their contributions to the host country's socio-economic development since the community was recognised as an ethnic minority in August 2013.
President Sang, in turn, emphasised that Viet Nam continually bore in mind the Czech Republic's valuable support for its past struggle for national liberation as well as through training officials and engineers, which laid a firm foundation for the development of the time-honoured friendship.
He agreed with the minister's proposal that the two countries should consider signing a cooperation agreement in culture and foster bilateral trade.
Together with efforts toward the signing of the Vietnam-EU FTA, the two countries' agencies needed to check available agreements for suitable adjustments or sign new ones to enhance bilateral collaboration, he added.
The President also shared the guest's opinion on strengthening coordination between the two countries.
Regarding the East Sea, he affirmed Vietnam's consistent stance on it and determination to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity by peaceful means in line with international law.
He welcomed the shared viewpoint of the international community, including the Czech Republic, as the region boasts an important international maritime route.
Meets with Deputy PM
Earlier on the same day, Zaoralek had a dialogue with Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, during which both reiterated their respect for developing the traditional friendship and multi-faceted co-operation.
The two officials exchanged orientations, and measures to intensify bilateral co-operation in the fields of politics and diplomacy, economics and trade, culture, education and training, development co-operation, national defence and security.
The two sides consented to maintaining exchanges, especially by high-ranking officials, and to continuing to closely and effectively co-ordinate on regional and international platforms in the United Nations and within the ASEM framework.
Besides a free trade agreement with the European Union, the Foreign Minister Zaoralek affirmed that the Czech Republic always supported the EU recognition of Viet Nam's market economy status.
Both sides agreed to take specific measures to increase bilateral trade. Zaoralek affirmed that the Czech Republic would create favourable conditions for many more Vietnamese goods to enter the country's market, especially farming, forestry, aquatic and seafood products, textile and footwear, among others.
Deputy PM Minh said Viet Nam committed to facilitating Czech goods to enter the Vietnamese market, including electronics, energy, information technology and communications. He affirmed that Viet Nam backed Czech enterprises to expand investment in areas of high demands in Viet Nam such as infrastructure construction, railway, renewable energy, agricultural machines manufacturing, electricity equipment, construction materials, glass-crystal, food processing and communications.
The two sides also agreed to continue effectively enforcing the Inter-governmental Committee on Viet Nam – Czech Economic Co-operation regulations, maintaining regular political consultation at the deputy foreign minister's level, strengthening co-operation in the fields of national defence and security; education and training, science and technology, health, environment, culture and sports and tourism, and transport.
Deputy PM Minh thanked and asked the Czech Republic to continue ODA granting for Viet Nam in environment, public health, insurance system reform, and hospital construction.
He thanked the Czech Government for having created favourable conditions for Vietnamese living in the Czech Republic to lead a stable life, and to further act as a bridge to develop the friendship and co-operation between the two countries. — VNS