Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – President Trần Đại Quang and his Czech counterpart Milos Zeman agreed to forge co-operation between Việt Nam and the Czech Republic in various areas during their talks in Hà Nội yesterday.
At the talks, held following a welcoming ceremony for the Czech leader, President Quang expressed his belief that Milos Zeman’s State visit to Việt Nam will contribute to deepening the time-honoured friendship and multi-faceted collaboration between the two countries in a pragmatic manner.
“Việt Nam always attaches importance to consolidating and developing relations with traditional friends, including the Czech Republic,” he affirmed.
The leaders briefed each other on situations in their respective countries and discussed concrete measures to promote bilateral ties. They also exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern.
Hailing achievements Vietnamese people have recorded in the national process of reform as well as the country’s increasing role and position in the global arena, President Zeman said the Czech Republic always regards Việt Nam as a traditional partner and wishes to advance their bilateral affiliation across all fields.
Host and guest noted with pleasure active developments of the Việt Nam-Czech Republic relations in the past, particularly in politics and diplomacy, as well as their effective collaboration in the international arena.
They held that bilateral economic and trade ties have remained stable with annual two-way trade averaging US$250 million in recent years.
The two leaders agreed to continue improving the effectiveness of the joint commission on economic co-operation, while strengthening trade and investment promotion, encouraging and backing the business community of both sides to foster their partnership and study each other’s market, especially in areas of the Czech Republic’s strength and Việt Nam’s demand such as infrastructure, food processing, pharmaceuticals, urban planning, public transportation, environmental protection and water resources management.
President Quang thanked the State and people of the Czech Republic for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to live, work, and integrate into local society.
The State leader expressed his belief that the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic will continue promoting their role as a bridge for friendship and co-operation between the two countries.
The two Presidents showed their delight at the close and effective co-ordination between the two countries at international forums.
President Zeman affirmed that the Czech Republic supports the enhancement of Việt Nam-EU relations as well as the signing and approval of the Việt Nam-EU free trade agreement, and the EU’s anticipated recognition of Việt Nam’s full market economy status.
Regarding the East Sea issue, the two leaders stressed the need to settle all disputes through peaceful measures, including diplomatic and legal processes in conformity with international law, especially the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 (UNCLOS).
Meeting with the press following their talks, President Quang said both sides consented to increase the exchange of all-level delegations and consultations on issues of shared concern.
The presidents were unanimous on the need for the two countries to improve the efficiency of cooperation in trade and investment and collaborate with each other in preparing for the sixth meeting of the Vietnam-Czech Joint Commission on Economic Co-operation scheduled for 2018 in Hà Nội.
They welcomed and pledged to facilitate Czech investment in Việt Nam in areas such as energy, environment, support industry, infrastructure, manufacturing, medical equipment and food processing.
Host and guest also consented to beef up the partnership in other realms like education-training, science-technology, culture-tourism, health care, environment, employment, national defence and security.
Regarding regional and international issues, President Quang said that the two leaders highlighted the significance of the maintenance of security and peace as well as the promotion of co-operation and development in the world.
President Zeman said that the business community of his country is interested in the Vietnamese market. He stated that his entourage included representatives of 68 enterprises in various sectors, who hope to affiliate with Vietnamese peers through specific agreements.
He also revealed that the two leaders discussed and agreed on the opening of a direct air route connecting Prague and HCM City, and a short-term visa exemption for Czech tourists to Việt Nam. The Czech Republic will open a Consulate General in HCM City in the near future.
He also said that he believes this will contribute to boosting the number of Czech tourists to Việt Nam in the future.
After their talks, the presidents witnessed the signing of co-operation documents between the two countries, including an agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons and another on combating crime.
Việt Nam and the Czech Republic set up diplomatic ties on February 2, 1950.
With 35 projects worth $91.3 million, focusing on real estate, beer, electronic equipment and construction materials, the Czech Republic ranks 42nd out of 101 countries and territories investing in Việt Nam.
Việt Nam was among 12 priority markets included in the Czech national export strategy during 2012-20, which was announced in 2012.
The Czech Republic has been the first Eastern European nation to provide official development assistance (ODA) for Việt Nam with about $18 million.
More than 60,000 Vietnamese are living in the Czech Republic. On July 3, 2013, the Czech Government appointed a Czech representative of Vietnamese origin to the Council of Ethnic Minorities, thus recognising the Czech Vietnamese community as an ethnic minority group in the country. — VNS