|Iceland's President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.—Photo Vietnam+/icenews.is
HA NOI (VNS) — The four-day visit of President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson to Viet Nam, starting from today, at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang, aims to strengthen bilateral ties.
Viet Nam and Iceland established diplomatic relations in 1973 and the ties have shown positive development in recent times.
Two Vietnamese prime ministers have visited Iceland. Vo Van Kiet visited the country first in 1995, followed by Phan Van Khai in 2002. The prime minister of Iceland visited Viet Nam once in 2002.
Viet Nam-Iceland trade relations remain limited, with two-way trade reaching US$6 million in 2014. The figure in the first six months of this year was valued at $9 million.
Viet Nam's main exports to Iceland include wood, textiles, vegetables and fruits, while Iceland ships seafood materials and machinery to Viet Nam.
Iceland's government approved an aquaculture co-operation programme it would undertake with Viet Nam.
The two countries also signed an agreement on double taxation avoidance, a statement of reciprocal benefits facilitating Viet Nam-Iceland trade activities, an agreement on investment protection, and another on aviation transport.
At present, 1,000 overseas Vietnamese live in Iceland, mainly in the capital city, Reykjavik.
Grimsson's visit aims to promote bilateral co-operation, especially in economics, science, technology and education.
The two sides will discuss ways to promote links between their enterprises, expand co-ordination at international forums, and compare their notes on international issues of common concern.
Iceland does not currently have any diplomatic representation in Viet Nam. — VNS