Việt Nam, North Macedonia enjoy fruitful cooperation over 30 years: Ambassador

June 10, 2024 - 14:47
Việt Nam has repeatedly affirmed that the country is willing to act as a bridge to connect North Macedonia and ASEAN, while North Macedonia can help Việt Nam enter the Balkan market.
Vietnamese Ambassador to Bulgaria and North Macedonia Đỗ Hoàng Long. — VNA/VNS Photo

BRUSSELS — Việt Nam and North Macedonia have enjoyed sound relations over the past 30 years with fruitful results seen in all cooperation areas, said Vietnamese Ambassador to Bulgaria and also accredited to the Southeast European country Đỗ Hoàng Long.

Since the two countries set up diplomatic relations on June 10, 1994, Việt Nam and North Macedonia have maintained a sound friendship and high mutual trust.

The two have shared a tradition of mutual support at international forums such as the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the ASEAN-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP). North Macedonia supported Việt Nam as a member of the UN Security Council in the 2008-2009 and 2020-2021 tenures, while the two countries have also backed each other in joining the UN Human Rights Council, he noted.

In terms of economy, the two-way trade stands at between US$8-12 million each year, said the diplomat, commenting that the result has yet to match the potential of cooperation between the two countries. The two countries' signing of an investment promotion and protection agreement, a double taxation avoidance agreement and an economic cooperation deal has demonstrated their efforts and determination to create a favourable legal framework to facilitate economic cooperation and increase trade turnover, he added.

Ambassador Long noted that the two countries have also cooperated in many other areas such as law-building, education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

Regarding collaboration potential, the diplomat said that Việt Nam and North Macedonia boast great potential for cooperation both bilaterally and at multilateral forums.

Việt Nam has repeatedly affirmed its willingness to act as a bridge connecting North Macedonia and ASEAN, while North Macedonia can help Việt Nam enter the Balkan market.

The two countries need to effectively make use of economic agreements to increase trade turnover and expand markets, especially in potential fields where the two countries have strengths such as agriculture, food processing and textiles, he said.

Highlighting the two countries' rich historical and cultural traditions, he underlined that there is still much room to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as tourism cooperation.

There are a number of other fields that North Macedonia is focusing on developing such as education, training, health and science and technology, which also match Việt Nam's interest and demand, enabling the two sides to share experience and seek new cooperation opportunities.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, the two have a tradition of good cooperation at international and regional forums and mutual support at important UN positions such as the Security Council, Human Rights Council, and Economic and Social Council.

Through contacts at all levels, Việt Nam has expressed support for North Macedonia's efforts to open up and integrate regionally and internationally, including the roadmap to join the European Union (EU), while North Macedonia has also repeatedly affirmed its backing for Việt Nam's views and stance on settling disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of the UN Charter and international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

These are important premises to develop cooperative relationships at multilateral forums, contributing to common efforts to maintain peace, stability and development in the region and the world, Ambassador Long said.

In order to further promote bilateral relations in the coming time, the diplomat said there should be an increase in the exchange of delegations at all levels, especially visits by senior leaders, while increasing trade and investment promotion activities and creating favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to access each other's markets.

There should also be focus on seeking new cooperation opportunities, especially in areas and products of each other’s strengths and demand, while expanding partnerships in education, training, culture, tourism, agriculture, health care, and science-technology, and signing new cooperation deals in these areas.

The two countries need to continue to strengthen coordination and support each other in international and regional forums, back each other's candidacies for important UN agencies, maintain coordination on regional and international issues of mutual concern, contributing to the common efforts of the international community for peace, stability and sustainable development on the basis of respect for international law and the UN Charter, the diplomat stated.

He also sketched out a number of areas to focus on, including establishing a Việt Nam-North Macedonia Inter-Governmental Committee for Cooperation, and organising a number of business forums and trade promotion events. — VNS