Viet Nam News
On the occasion of the Polish National Day, commemorating the declaration of third of May 1791 Constitution, Barbara Szymanowska, Ambassador of Poland to Việt Nam shares a few words about Poland, some highlights of the Polish-Vietnamese relations as well as some personal remarks.
Poland is closer to Việt Nam than many can think. Located in Central Europe, covering an area of 312.679 sq.km, Poland is similar to Việt Nam in terms of size. The country has a population of 38.5 million people. Like Vietnamese, Poles love their cuisine – fresh water fish is a favourite dish in the north of Poland. From the sandy plains of Mazovia in central Poland comes zurek – a sour rye soup, and the Eastern belt is known for its world famous pierogi (dumplings).
Poland has been a member of NATO since 1999 and of the European Union since 2004. It is a stable democracy with a truly fascinating history, a great cultural heritage, and several areas of outstanding natural beauty. Along the Baltic Sea and across the Masuria, the Land of a Thousand Lakes, there are ancient forests, rivers, and hills to be enjoyed by visitors.
Poland and Việt Nam have a long tradition of friendly relations. Poland was among the first seven countries to recognise and establish diplomatic relations with Việt Nam in 1950. The two countries have co-operated closely in various areas, including the academic, scientific, cultural and economic fields.
Check it out: Poland is a attractive destination thanks to its culture, landscape and cuisine. — Photo courtesy of Polish Tourist Organisation
Poland is proud of its friendship with Việt Nam. For 68 years we have developed our relations in many fields. We exchange high level visits frequently. In November 2017, Polish President Andrzej Duda paid a state visit to Việt Nam and due to that visit we have gained the momentum to boost our co-operation in all fields. Together we have signed significant number of bilateral agreements, and thanks to those agreements we will enhance our co-operation in education, agriculture and environment as well as in the field of economics.
The president also opened a new Foreign Trade Office of the Polish Agency of Investment and Trade in HCM City. The new office will support improved business to business relations. Poland is also offering more scholarships to Vietnamese students than before, and the number of Vietnamese students in Poland has increased tri-fold since 2014. We hope that through higher education we can contribute to the social and economic development of Việt Nam as well as to build great people-to-people relations. It is also worth mentioning that Poland has become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2019-2021 term, and we are supporting Vietnamese candidacy to institution for the 2020-2021 term.
For Poland, Việt Nam is the most important economic partner, as well as the biggest trade partner in ASEAN. Our bilateral trade has been increasing since 2014 and has now reached more than US$2 billion. We hope that the free trade agreement between the EU and Việt Nam will enter into force and allow more Polish companies to have a presence in the Vietnamese market.
The strengthening position of Việt Nam in Poland’s trade development strategy was confirmed when the Polish government listed the country among five of the most perspective markets in the world. The key sectors where cooperation is developing are agro-food, which accounts for nearly 65% of Polish overall export to Việt Nam, and pharmaceuticals, which possess significant export value from Poland to Vietnam. There is also untapped potential in other sectors such as cosmetics and diet supplements such as skincare and multivitamins, and green technologies such as clean energy, eco-transport and wastewater treatment. Other potential areas are software/IT, heavy industries such as mining, shipbuilding, and machineries, and equipment for agricultural production and food processing.
My term as ambassador of Poland to Việt Nam is coming to an end this summer. It has been a great honour for me to serve in Việt Nam, and it has been four very rewarding years. We have achieved great results and have deepened our bilateral relationship significantly. Việt Nam will always have an important place in my heart. — VNS