|Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros. — VNA/VNS Photo
HA NOI — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Moros is paying an official visit to Viet Nam to foster bilateral relations between the two nations.
The visit, which is being made at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang, marks Nicolas Maduro Moros's first visit to Viet Nam since he took office in April 2013.
During his visit from Sunday to Tuesday, the president is scheduled to hold talks with his Vietnamese counterpart today.
Viet Nam and Venezuela set up diplomatic ties in December 1989. Since then, the two countries have consolidated their friendship and collaboration through contacts and delegation exchanges at all levels.
They have reached agreements for joint projects on petroleum and oil exploration, construction, solar energy, public lighting and culture during their Inter-governmental Committee meetings.
Last March, during Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jose Jaua Milano's visit to Viet Nam and the third meeting of the Viet Nam-Venezuela Inter-governmental Committee, the two sides agreed to continue boosting co-operation in energy, oil and gas, and agriculture, as well as to increase Viet Nam 's investment in Venezuela's manufacturing and assembling industries, electronics and construction.
So far a wide range of agreements have been signed between the two governments and their sectors, including visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders; and co-operation in science-technology, energy, education, culture, tourism, and agriculture.
The two sides have always supported each other in international forums and organisations. Venezuela backed Viet Nam in its bids to join the World Trade Organisation (WTO), become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (2008-2009) and a member of the UN Human Rights Council (2014 – 2016).
Two-way trade between Viet Nam and Venezuela has increased in recent years, hitting US$62.7 million last year, with the former enjoying a trade surplus of $57.3 million.
Viet Nam exports mainly garments and textiles, footwear, telephone and spare parts, electricity and electronic devices and food to Venezuela, while importing garment and footwear materials, rubber, equipment and spare parts from this market.
As of April 2015, Viet Nam poured $1.8 billion into its projects in Venezuela, making the Latin American country among its top investment destinations, according to the Ministry of Planning and Investment's Foreign Investment Agency. — VNS