Viet Nam News
A swirl: Ursula Lopez performs flamenco.—Photos Courtesy of the Embassy of Spain
To mark the National Day of the Kingdom of Spain on October 12, Việt Nam News presents an article written by the Ambassador of Spain to Việt Nam, María Jesús Figa López-Palop.
The commemoration of national days, a common practice throughout the world, has as its main goal the formal remembrance of historical events that belong to the common heritage of its citizens.
In the case of Spain, October 12, signals the day Christopher Columbus, in 1492, discovered America. This date has a special place in Spanish history, and it has since been strongly linked to that of the “new” American continent.
Indeed, October 12 is also a date celebrated under different names in many countries of America. And, since 2010, it is also the Day of Spanish Language following a decision by the United Nations to honour the second most widely spoken mother tongue in the world. So today, being proud to belong to a Spanish community that is increasing its international influence in social, cultural and economic terms, we celebrate several things.
These last few years have not been easy for my country. With the significant effort of Spanish citizens, the hard economic crisis we have been going through has been overcome, and Spain is now a European country that is growing faster, while unemployment figures, one of our biggest challenges, are falling significantly. Thanks to our export sector, the strength of our companies in a highly internationalised economy and tourism, Spain is today an attractive brand.
These days, Spain is experiencing challenging times. The Catalan Government is deliberately violating Spain’s Constitution and Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy. The State has legitimate powers to ensure the constitutional order and defend the majority of Catalan citizens who don’t sanction the irresponsible conduct of secessionists. The Spanish Government is determined to maintain the unity of Spain and the rights of all its citizens. Democracy is based on law, and democratic principles and the rule of law are strong and solid in my country.
The Spanish people, who are experiencing recent events with a combination of unease and sadness, have confidence in overcoming this difficult moment.
In the realm of Spain and Việt Nam relations, we are celebrating the fortieth anniversary of diplomatic ties. This offers us a magnificent opportunity to take a leap forward in our bilateral relationship.
Throughout our long relationship, Spain has been committed to the development and welfare of Việt Nam, granting more than 221 million Euros in terms of Official Aid.
Symbol: Logo celebrates the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Spain and Việt Nam.
The impressive results in reducing poverty of Việt Nam within the framework of its rapid economic and social development, have deeply transformed the dynamics of cooperation. This calls for a search for new and more effective modalities based on a broader and more active participation of the private sector.
In this endeavor, Spain has a lot to offer as the fourth largest economy in the Eurozone and thirteenth worldwide in terms of GDP.
Some of our leading companies are present in Việt Nam and the figures of bilateral trade are positive. Việt Nam is our first trade partner among ASEAN nations.
The presence of Spanish companies in the energy sector of Việt Nam is particularly significant and we hope for the success of joint-venture projects, which will surely open new spaces for other Spanish investments.
We are convinced that the right application of a Free Trade Agreement will render great benefit to both sides. We must work together in to facilitate the right conditions and surmount obstacles to this win-win agreement.
Cultural and social links among both peoples are of paramount importance. Let me invite you to join us in the celebrations of Spanish-Vietnamese cultural cooperation at a Film Festival in Hà Nội on Tuesday, October 17 - and a flamenco show on November 6.
On this particular and special October 12, I want to convey a special greeting to all Spanish people living in Việt Nam.
To all of them, as well as to all genuine friends of Spain in Việt Nam, I sincerely wish you a FelizDía de la Hispanidad. — VNS