|Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh (left) and Bulgarian President Rumen Radev (right). — VGP Photo|Viet Nam News
SOFIA — Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh has assured Bulgarian leaders that the Vietnamese government and people want to strengthen friendship and cooperation with Bulgaria – a trustworthy friend and partner of Việt Nam over the years.
He reiterated the commitment during meetings with Bulgarian President Rumen Radev and Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev during a three-day visit to Bulgaria from July 3-5.
At the meeting with the Vietnamese Deputy PM on Tuesday, President Rumen Radev spoke of their bilateral friendship over the past seven decades. He spoke highly of Việt Nam’s economic achievements, highlighting gross domestic product growth of over 6 per cent in recent years, making the country one of the most vibrant economies in Southeast Asia.
He said both nations had worked closely together on regional and global issues, adding that Bulgaria supported the early signing and ratification of the European Union - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.
Both sides agreed to enhance all-round ties, and the host pledged to direct the Bulgarian government and relevant agencies to convene a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee.
The Bulgarian president also accepted President Trần Đại Quang’s invitation to visit Việt Nam.
During the meeting between Deputy PM Minh and his Bulgarian counterpart Tomislav Donchev, the two officials expressed satisfaction at their strengthened political ties and vowed to offer mutual support at multilateral forums such as the United Nations and the Asia-Europe Meeting.
They agreed to lift bilateral economic-trade-investment ties, including piloting joint-venture models in manufacturing for sale in Europe and other markets around the world.
The two sides underscored the need to lift education and training cooperation and tap Bulgaria’s experience of training over 3,000 engineers and officials for Việt Nam in the past.
They also agreed to organise the 24th meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic-Trade Cooperation and the fifth meeting of the Inter-Governmental Committee on Science-Technology Cooperation to help their enterprises seek partners and explore markets.
Talking with the overseas Vietnamese community in the afternoon the same day, Minh said that Vietnam was looking for rapid and sustainable economic development and proactive external relations to best serve national interests in tandem with safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. — VNS