Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Phạm Bình Minh (R) receives Cameroon Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella in Hà Nội on Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Khang
HÀ NỘI — Cameroon Foreign Minister Lejeune Mbella Mbella has affirmed that Cameroon hopes to bolster co-operation with Việt Nam in trade, investment, agriculture, education, green energy and telecommunications.
During talks on Wednesday with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister Phạm Bình Minh as part of his on-going visit to Việt Nam from December 27-30, Mbella Mbella said that his country is willing to help bridge collaboration between Việt Nam and members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).
He lauded the effectiveness of Vietnamese-invested projects in Cameroon, including a joint venture between the military telecommunications group Viettel and a local firm, which he described as a symbol of successful co-operation between the two countries.
He proposed greater coordination among localities of the two countries, as well as the organisation of trade promotion programmes and the exchange of training courses and scholarships.
The Cameroon Ministry of External Affairs will ask the President to approve the country’s Ambassador to China to also cover relations with Việt Nam. The ministry will also seek the appointment of a honourary ambassador of Việt Nam in Cameroon, and create favourable conditions for the implementation of joint rice development projects in the form of public-private partnerships.
Minh suggested the two foreign ministries work closely together to accelerate a Việt Nam visit by the Cameroon President in 2018 and conclude negotiations for agreements on investment encouragement and protection and double-tax avoidance, and another deal on co-operation in industry and promoting Việt Nam’s exports to Cameroon.
Minh asked Cameroon to back Vietnamese investors in the country.
Mbella Mbella also met with Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc, who affirmed that Việt Nam is willing to share experience in wet rice cultivation and other fields with Cameroon.
Phúc said that Cameroon’s offering of optimal conditions for Vietnamese firms has helped facilitate Vietnamese investment in the country.
Expressing delight at the growing ties between Việt Nam and Cameroon, he declared that Việt Nam always treasures the traditional friendship with the African country and hopes to broaden economic collaboration to match their sound political relations.
For his part, Mbella Mbella said that his country pays special attention to expanding ties with Việt Nam, which is why he visited.
He said that along with agricultural development, Cameroon is focusing on upgrading infrastructure such as roads, ports and airports. The country is also keen on developing energy, information technology and the digital economy, he said, expressing hope that it can partner with Việt Nam in these fields.
Cameroon currently ranks 12th out of 72 destinations for Vietnamese investors, with four projects totalling US$270 million. Two-way trade between the two sides has reached about $200 million, mostly from Việt Nam’s imports.
During Mbella Mbella’s stay, the two countries signed a framework agreement in bilateral co-operation, another on a visa exemption for those holding diplomatic and official passports and a memorandum of understanding on co-operation between the two foreign ministries. — VNS