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Iceland seeks more extensive co-operation

Update: November, 05/2015 - 09:05
President Truong Tan Sang (left) and President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson review the guard of honour yesterday in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang
HA NOI (VNS) — President Truong Tan Sang and his Icelandic counterpart Olafur Ragnar Grimsson shared the wish for stronger economic, trade and investment co-operation between the two countries during their talks in Ha Noi yesterday.

During the talks, President Sang said that the visit would create a new framework for co-operation between the two countries.

He informed President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson that Viet Nam is switching to the quality growth model while accelerating the restructuring of the economy for rapid and sustainable development towards modernisation and industrialisation.

He also highlighted Viet Nam's policy of international integration, adding the country has joined many bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements, contributed to peace and stability in the region and deepened relations with all partners.

In the relationship with Iceland, President Sang recommended the increase of exchanges and contacts in all levels. He welcomed the deal on co-operation in geothermal energy signed between the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the visit.

The two sides need to assist their enterprises in seeking business opportunities and connectivity, especially in fields where Iceland has the upper hand and Viet Nam has demand, such as seafood fishing and processing and renewable energy, the President said.

President Sang also thanked Iceland and the European Free Trade Association for recognising Viet Nam as a market economy and wished that Iceland speed up negotiations of a free trade agreement between the two countries, taking into consideration the development gap, and conclude the negotiation in the earliest possible time, thus allowing enterprises from the two countries to approach opportunities in each market.

President Sang recommended that the two countries study the possibility of negotiating and signing co-operation agreements on education and training, as well as exchanging experience on social welfare, gender equality, and the care for children and the disabled.

Touching upon the East Sea issue, the two leaders shared concerns on recent happenings and emphasised the need to resolve disputes via peaceful measures in line with international laws, the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Khang

He hoped the Icelandic government will continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in Iceland to integrate into the host society and play the role as a bridge to boost the friendship between the two countries.

The Icelandic President said his visit aims to expand co-operation with Viet Nam in many fields, especially in sustainable fishery, the exploitation and use of clean energy, and academic exchanges between universities.

Iceland is willing to help Viet Nam develop renewable energy as a way to respond to climate change and for the sake of the environment.

He also agreed with his host on the need to end negotiation on free trade agreements between Viet Nam and the EU, the European Free Trade Association and Iceland as early as possible.

Exchanging views on a number of regional and international issues of shared interest, President Sang thanked Iceland for supporting Viet Nam's bid to join the United Nations Human Rights Council, the UN Economic and Social Council ( ECOSOC ) and hoped Iceland will support Viet Nam to become a member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

Touching upon the East Sea issue, the two leaders shared concerns on recent happenings and emphasised the need to resolve disputes via peaceful measures in line with international laws, the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The two sides agreed that relevant parties need to reach a binding Code of Conduct for the East Sea (COC), considering it as an effective way to ensure peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of maritime navigation and aviation and trade in the East Sea.

After the meeting, the two Presidents witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on co-operation in the field of geothermal energy between the MoIT and the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and an MoU on co-operation between Viet Nam National University of Hanoi and Reykjavik University.

Party Chief

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong receives President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Tri Dung

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed the Icelandic President at a reception, which also took place yesterday.

General Secretary Trong said as both sides have complementary strengths, they should boost multi-faceted bilateral co-operation, including in the fields of trade-investment, education-training, energy and the environment.

President Grimsson, once a student who took to the streets in support of Viet Nam's struggle for national independence and freedom decades ago, said the visit affords him a chance to witness Viet Nam's transformation from war-torn into a peaceful and developing country.

Prime Minister

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung meets with President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung reiterated Viet Nam's consistent policy to deepen ties with Iceland during a meeting with the Icelandic President. He suggested building legal frameworks for collaboration across education, science-technology, culture and tourism while working closely together at international forums, especially at the United Nations.

President Grimsson, in response, stated that Iceland wants to expand its partnership with Viet Nam to various fields, especially in clean farming using advanced technologies, aquaculture, food processing and energy.

NA Chairman

National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung receives Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sang

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung received Icelandic President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson yesterday.

Hung was positive about the progress in their bilateral co-operation in several fields, but noted that it is still below potential.

The Icelandic President affirmed his aim to promote connectivity between the two countries, especially business communities in order to make better use of their advantages and potential. He said Iceland is willing to share its experience and skill in various fields, especially renewable energy, fishery, information technology, education and training, climate change and social welfare. — VNS

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