President Trần Đại Quang. — VNA/VNS Photo Nhan Sáng
HÀ NỘI — The upcoming State-level visits to Ethiopia and Egypt from August 23 to 29 by President Trần Đại Quang and his spouse are expected to enhance the traditional friendship between Việt Nam and the two African countries.
The trips are made at the invitation of Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Việt Nam and Ethiopia established diplomatic ties on March 23, 1976. The long-standing bilateral relation has been growing at a steady rate.
Ethiopia supported Việt Nam’s candidacy for the UNESCO Executive Council (2015-19) and United Nations’ Economic and Social Council (2016-18).
In April 2014, Ethiopia recognised Việt Nam’s market economy status.
Recently, Ethiopia affirmed its support for Việt Nam’s bid to run for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council for the 2020-21 tenure.
The two sides have inked a framework agreement on co-operation in culture and another on collaboration in economy and science-technology, as well as a co-operation deal between the Vietnamese and Ethiopian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
Bilateral trade hit US$11.3 million in 2017. Việt Nam exported $2.2 million worth of goods, mainly garment-textiles, footwear and chemical products.
Telecom group Viettel plans to expand the investment and trade of telecom equipment to Ethiopia. It set up a representative office in Addis Ababa in August 2016.
The visit to Ethiopia by President Quang is expected to create a historical milestone in bilateral relation as well as open up investment and trade co-operation prospects in the years to come.
Việt Nam and Egypt have a traditional friendship and cooperative relationship. Egypt is one of the first Arab countries to establish relations with Việt Nam. In 1958, Việt Nam established a trade representative office in Egypt. Then, on September 1, 1963, Việt Nam and Egypt officially set up diplomatic ties. The same year, Việt Nam opened its embassy in Cairo. One year later, Egypt opened its embassy in Hà Nội.
The two countries have regularly co-ordinated and supported each other at international forums as well as shared viewpoints on numerous issues of mutual concern at the United Nations.
In May 2015, Việt Nam and Egypt held the eighth political consultation at the deputy foreign ministerial level in Cairo. In September 2016, Egypt joined the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia (TAC).
The two nations have also regularly exchanged information and cooperation through the Party and local channels in the fields of inspection and culture, while also setting up the Việt Nam-Egypt Friendship Parliamentary Group.
Economically, Egypt is the fifth-largest trade partner of Việt Nam in Africa. Two-way trade reached about $350 million in 2017. Việt Nam mainly exported aquatic products, automobile spare parts, fabric, black pepper, coffee, rubber and consumer goods.
Egypt was the first North African country to recognise Việt Nam’s market economy in November 2013. It has three registered investment projects in Việt Nam worth $2.05 million.
Each year, Egypt provides 12 Arab language training scholarships for Vietnamese students. On the occasion of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s visit to Việt Nam in September 2017, Egypt pledged to provide technical assistance and training for 10-20 officials on Halal standards for goods exported to the Muslim market.
In recent years, Việt Nam and Egypt have signed some agreements on trade, economic and technological co-operation, investment protection, aviation, inspection collaboration, visa exemption for diplomatic special and official passport holders, and co-operation protocol between the two foreign ministries.
They also signed co-operation deals in tourism, exploration and exploitation of oil and gas, organising trade fairs and exhibitions, and developing micro- and small enterprises.
The two sides established a joint business council and prompted investment co-operation between Việt Nam’s Ministry of Planning and Investment and Egypt’s Ministry of Investment and International Co-operation.
The upcoming visits to Ethiopia and Egypt also affirm that Việt Nam persistently pursues its foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations.
Việt Nam always attaches great importance to enhancing traditional friendship with African countries in general, and Ethiopia and Egypt in particular.
The visits also create a chance for countries to exchange measures to further develop their co-operation in economy, trade and investment, as well as to seek co-operation opportunities in their fields of strength such as agriculture, culture and tourism. — VNS