Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc (R) receives Ivica Dacic, Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Hà Nội yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is consistent in its employment of multilateral and multifaceted diplomacy to enhance traditional partnerships with Balkan States, including Serbia, stated Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc.
The PM made the remark at a reception for Ivica Dacic, Serbian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, in Hà Nội yesterday.
Underscoring the importance of his guest’s visit in the context of Việt Nam and Serbia marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of relations (1957-2017), Phúc said he believes the visit will help propel bilateral co-operation, particularly in trade, to raise the economic partnership between the two countries to match their fruitful political ties.
PM Phúc also urged both countries to increase people-to-people diplomacy and the exchange of delegations at different levels, and to boost engagement between their ministries, localities and businesses.
Noting that bilateral trade remains limited at US$25 million in 2016, he stressed the need to assist Vietnamese and Serbian firms in co-operating and studying each other’s markets.
Việt Nam is willing to become a gateway for Serbia to reach Southeast Asian markets, Phúc stated.
For his part, Dacic highlighted the necessity for both countries to support each other and work together at international forums, and to sign more co-operation agreements across sectors.
He proposed the sides improve defence relations and organise more visits of business delegations.
During their talks in Hà Nội earlier yesterday, Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Serbian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ivica Dacic agreed to build a co-operation framework to boost bilateral collaboration, especially in economy, trade and investment.
The two officials also emphasised the need to increase co-ordination between the foreign ministries of Việt Nam and Serbia.
More favourable conditions should be created to facilitate the penetration of Việt Nam’s key exports such as seafood, garments-textiles, coffee and wooden products into Serbia and other Balkan countries, as well as the access of Serbian goods like foodstuff, equipment and machines to the Vietnamese and ASEAN markets, they said.
Minh lauded the signing of an agreement on double taxation avoidance and another on mutual recognition of the market economy status between Việt Nam and Serbia.
He suggested the two nations soon complete negotiations on an agreement for economic and trade co-operation in an effort to finalise the legal framework for economic, trade and investment ties.
Minh praised Dacic’s official visit to Việt Nam from September 7-11, the first visit to the Southeast Asian nation by a high-ranking Serbian leader since 1989.
The officials decided to expand co-operation in areas the two countries have potential in, particularly culture, tourism, transport and national defence and security.
Having hailed the effective collaboration at international forums and organisations between Việt Nam and Serbia, they said that the two countries need to continue co-ordination at multilateral institutions, especially within the UN.
Minh used this occasion to thank Serbia for its support for Việt Nam’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council for 2020-21.
While discussing international and regional issues of mutual concern, the officials highlighted the significance of peace, stability, security, safety and freedom of navigation, the peaceful settlement of disputes on the basis of respect for international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, the full implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and the early completion of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea. — VNS