Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ speaks in Lisbon. — VNA/VNS Photo Phạm Kiên
LISBON — Portugal backs the early signing of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva told Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vương Đình Huệ during their meeting in Lisbon.
The two said they were delighted at the recent development of their relationship. This followed visits to Portugal by the then Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng in June, 2015, and Deputy PM Phạm Bình Minh in May last year.
They agreed that Việt Nam and Portugal should further bolster bilateral ties in economics, trade, investment, education and cultural exchange.
The two governments needed to encourage enterprises from both sides make inroads into each other’s markets and invest in the two nations’ areas of strength, Huệ said.
Huệ asked Portugal to push for the early signing of the EVFTA which would act as a catalyst for Việt Nam-Portugal economic relations to grow further.
The Portuguese FM spoke highly of Việt Nam’s robust economic growth and indicated his support for the early signing.
The Portuguese government was ready to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese firms to do business in the country, he added.
During the visit, Deputy PM Huệ delivered a speech at the Việt Nam - Portugal Business Dialogue attended by about 50 leading firms from both sides.
He said Việt Nam’s political and socio-economic stability and its investment incentives created a favourable business climate for foreign investors, including those from Portugal.
In 2017, he said Việt Nam achieved high economic growth of 6.8 per cent, drew in more than US$30 billion in foreign direct investment and posted more than $420 billion in foreign trade turnover.
He reiterated that the State and Party of Việt Nam was consistently pursuing economic reforms and improving local legal systems so that the economy could integrate more deeply into the global economy.
With the EVFTA and other new-generation FTAs soon coming into effect, he encouraged Portuguese companies to invest in manufacturing, hi-tech industry, infrastructure development, environment, agriculture-forestry-fisheries and food processing, renewable energy, information technology, pharmaceuticals, biology, construction, high-quality services, and finance-banking in Việt Nam.
Many Portuguese businesses showed interest in partnering with Vietnamese firms in finance, farm exports, pharmaceuticals and tourism, and hoped to get better access to ASEAN markets via Việt Nam.
Huệ, accompanied by Việt Nam’s leading corporations, including VNPT, Vietcombank, VinaCapital and CT Group, also met leading Portuguese firms during the visit. — VNS