|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh meets with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Szijjarto Peter in Ha Noi yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thong Nhat
HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Szijjarto Peter agreed on steps to boost bilateral ties across politics and diplomacy, trade investment, culture, education training, development co-operation, and national defence and security during talks in Ha Noi yesterday.
Peter, who is in Viet Nam January 11-13, expressed his wish to further develop the traditional friendship and effective collaboration between the two countries.
He reiterated his support for the prompt signing of the Viet Nam-EU free trade agreement and the EU's recognition of Viet Nam as a market economy.
Both sides agreed to facilitate visits at all levels and continue to work closely together at regional and global forums, especially at the United Nations and the Asia-Europe Meeting.
They pledged to maintain the annual deputy-ministerial political consultation mechanism and extend ties between the Diplomatic Academy of Viet Nam and other research institutes of the two countries.
In order to improve the operation of the Viet Nam-Hungary Joint Commission on Economic Co-operation, the two countries agreed to jointly hold seminars and trade promotion fairs, making it easier for goods to enter each market.
The Hungarian side vowed to help Viet Nam's agro-forestry-fishery, garment and footwear industries navigate its market.
The host stressed that Viet Nam continually facilitated Hungarian investment in infrastructure, renewable energy, environment treatment technology, food processing and pharmaceuticals.
He said he appreciated Hungary's provision of preferential credit for Viet Nam and promised closer liaison to utilise official development assistance.
On regional and global issues of shared concern, the two officials agreed to further uphold each other's role in fostering connectivity and co-operation between Southeast Asia and Central-Eastern Europe as well as the ASEAN-EU ties.
During a press conference following the talks, they informed the media that Viet Nam and Hungary would continue joint work across national defence and security, education training, culture and tourism, agriculture, health care and the environment.
Viet Nam also hailed Hungary's initiative to continue supplying credit to Viet Nam and offer annual scholarships to 100 Vietnamese students, marking a twofold increase.
Deputy PM meeting
At a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, the visiting Hungarian minister said Hungary hoped its relationship with Viet Nam would be a pillar of the European Union – ASEAN relations in the future.
The Hungarian minister congratulated Vietnam on pride-worthy socio-economic development attainments in recent years, noting that his country wanted to benefit from Viet Nam's vigorous economic growth and to solidify bilateral co-operation.
He underlined enormous untapped potential in the countries' co-operation and proposed areas where they should enhance their partnership, including health care, medicine and clean water.
Deputy PM Ninh appreciated the guest's evaluation of Viet Nam's socio-economic development efforts and thanked Hungary for its support to his country during the past struggle for national independence and reunification.
Sharing the same view with the minister, Ninh said bilateral trade and investment at around US$200 million was still modest despite a 15 to 20 percent surge in their trade in recent years.
He noted that the European nation's credit assistance had helped Viet Nam realise some important projects such as the Can Tho Oncology Hospital.
Hungary should continue its aid to the Southeast Asian country to implement co-operation projects that both sides are interested in, he said, applauding Hungary's support for the building of a plant exploiting the Red River's surface water.
Ninh also suggested Hungary co-operate with Viet Nam under the public-private partnership model to carry out a demographic data project which is being piloted in Hai Phong City. — VNS