|Portuguese foreign minister Joao Gomes Cravinho meets his Vietnamese counterpart Bùi Thanh Sơn on his official visit to Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo An Đăng
HÀ NỘI — Portuguese foreign minister Joao Gomes Cravinho hopes to enhance ties with Việt Nam as part of the European country’s policy in the Asia-Pacific region.
He was speaking during talks with his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bùi Thanh Sơn on his official visit to the Southeast Asian country on Wednesday.
Cravinho also said he is impressed with Việt Nam’s socioeconomic achievements and its increasingly important role and position in the region and the world.
Welcoming his counterpart, Vietnamese foreign minister Sơn said that the visit marks a new milestone in the relations between the two countries and will elevate the Việt Nam - Portugal long-term friendship to a new phase of development.
The two leaders also discussed the socioeconomic situation in their respective countries and the bilateral relations in recent years.
They agreed on several measures that will help promote cooperation on multiple potential aspects, increase high-level delegation exchanges, as well as continuing support for each other on multilateral and international forums, which include the ASEAN - EU cooperation frameworks and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
They will also strengthen collaboration in responding to global challenges, such as food security.
Both ministers expressed their satisfaction at the development of the Việt Nam - Portugal ties after the establishment of their diplomatic relations nearly 50 years ago in 1975.
Positive changes can be observed in numerous aspects, including politics, diplomacy, trade and economy.
The two countries agreed to promote the role of their respective foreign ministries as the first point of contact that helps promote cooperation and political consultancy frameworks between Việt Nam and Portugal.
Foreign minister Sơn requested that the two countries work closely together to maximise the opportunities brought by the EU - Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).
He added that cooperation can also be expanded to fields that are the strengths of Portugal and in need of development in Việt Nam, such as marine economy, maritime, renewable energy, tourism and information technology.
Sơn hoped that Portugal would create favourable conditions for Việt Nam’s agricultural products to access the Portuguese market.
The Vietnamese foreign minister also asked Portugal to soon ratify the EU - Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), which would contribute to the optimal investment opportunities for both Vietnamese and Portuguese businesses.
Sơn also requested that Portugal will work with the European Council (EC) to remove the illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU) yellow card for Việt Nam’s fishery products.
Portuguese foreign minister Cravinho updated the situation on Portugal’s progress on EVIPA ratification and said that the country will work with the EC on the IUU issue.
He also asked that Việt Nam soon complete the necessary procedures for Portuguese meat products to enter the Vietnamese market.
Welcoming his counterpart’s suggestion of establishing a cooperation framework on agriculture, Cravinho also hoped that the relations between the two countries' localities will continue to flourish to enhance people-to-people exchanges. These include Porto and HCM City, as well as Việt Trì City and Miranda.
The two ministers also agreed to continue the implementation of the 2015 memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation, and further promote collaboration in education - training, sports and culture.
Discussing regional and international issues of multiple concerns, they emphasised the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security, safety, freedom of navigation and overflights in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Việt Nam).
They said that disputes should be settled by peaceful means on the basis of international laws, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). — VNS