Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh co-held a press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News
SOFIA — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh has called on the Bulgarian National Assembly (NA) to support the Governments of Việt Nam and Bulgaria in taking measures to develop bilateral ties comprehensively and pragmatically.
At a meeting with NA President Tsveta Karayancheva yesterday, as part of his official visit to Bulgaria, Minh urged the Bulgarians to create more favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into the host society and thus contribute to the prosperity of both countries.
He thanked Bulgaria for its assistance to Việt Nam, including the training of thousands of Vietnamese students and postgraduates, saying Bulgaria is now a second home to more than 1,000 Vietnamese people.
Tsveta Karayancheva recalled her meeting with Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân on the sidelines of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva in March.
The two sides compared notes on an array of issues regarding relations between Việt Nam and Bulgaria as well as their legislative bodies, he said.
Bulgaria backs the early signing and ratification of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, the leader said, considering the pact a door to multiple cooperation opportunities for businesses on both ends of the deal.
Host and guest shared the view that the 70-year Việt Nam-Bulgaria friendship has created an important premise for the two sides to enhance their cooperation in all realms.
They spoke of the close collaboration between the Vietnamese and Bulgarian legislative bodies, which has significantly contributed to boosting the comprehensive development of the overall relationship between the two countries.
They held that the respective NAs should step up the exchange of experiences in law-making and legislative reform.
Deputy PM and FM Minh conveyed NA Chairwoman Ngân’s invitation to Tsveta Karayancheva to visit Việt Nam. The Bulgarian leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.
The same day, Deputy PM and FM Minh held talks with Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.
Host and guest expressed their delight at the fruitful traditional friendship between the two countries, particularly in terms of politics and diplomacy, as reflected through the regular exchange of delegations at all levels.
They pointed out that bilateral economic and trade ties have remained moderate with annual two-way trade averaging US$100 million and Bulgaria’s investments in Việt Nam hitting just over $30 million.
Việt Nam and Bulgaria should advance their economic links to a new high on par with the political ties, they suggested.
Minh proposed Bulgaria increase investment in areas specific to Bulgaria’s strengths and Việt Nam’s demands, such as in medicine, high-tech agriculture, information-technology, renewable energy and urban management.
He also called for more favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to access the Bulgarian market and for Vietnamese nationals to visit Bulgaria.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh during his meeting yesterday with Bulgarian National Assembly President Tsveta Karayancheva. — VNA/VNS Photo
Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, they said Vietnam and Bulgaria should intensify their coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially the UN and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), in order to improve their positions and maintain peace, stability, cooperation and development in their regions and around the world.
They also underlined the need to deal with disputes by peaceful measures and on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
They said cultural activities held in both countries recently such as the Rose Festival and Slavic Script Day in Hà Nội, Việt Nam’s participation in the International Folk Culture Festival in Burgas and an international art festival in Sozopol have contributed to promoting people-to-people exchange as well as increasing mutual understanding between the two nations.
The two sides agreed to sign a cultural cooperation programme for 2018-2020 soon, serving as a foundation for the implementation of activities in the field.
On education cooperation, they also agreed to soon ink a cooperation agreement on education for 2018-2022 in order to facilitate the exchange of students between the two countries, as well as collaboration in science and experience sharing between the countries’ universities and research institutes.
Bulgaria pledged to increase scholarships to Việt Nam, particularly for students of the Bulgarian language and international relations.
Deputy PM and FM Phạm Bình Minh and his Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zaharieva witnessed the signing of a document on receiving property between the two countries’ diplomatic agencies.
After their talks, host and guest held a joint press conference. — VNS