Viet Nam News
RABAT — Việt Nam always attached importance to developing its friendship and multi-faceted co-operation with Africa, and Morocco was the country’s priority partner in North Africa, National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân said on Thursday.
The top legislator made the statement during a meeting with Morocco’s Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani in Rabat as part of her official visit to the African country.
Highlighting the close ties between Việt Nam and Morocco during their past struggles for national liberation, Ngân said the two countries had a responsibility to pass down that friendship to future generations.
Ngân briefed her host on Việt Nam’s socio-economic development in 2018, with economic growth of 7.08 per cent and a stable macro economy.
Việt Nam had also integrated intensively and extensively into the world, she said, adding that the country had signed and implemented 12 free trade agreements (FTAs) and was negotiating four others, both multilaterally and bilaterally.
In November 2018, the Vietnamese legislature approved the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), she said.
The Vietnamese legislative leader noted that although political relations between Việt Nam and Morocco were developing fruitfully, their economic-trade ties had yet to match their potential and aspirations, with two-way trade reaching only US$212.7 million last year.
With a population of about 90 million, Việt Nam was willing to serve as a gateway for Morocco to enter the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market, the leader said.
She lauded joint efforts to accelerate the opening of air routes between the two countries and strengthen co-operation in the banking sector in order to make it easier for enterprises to expand investment and business in the future.
Ngân used the occasion to thank Morocco for its support and co-operation with Việt Nam at multilateral co-operation mechanisms, saying to narrow the geographical distance, the two countries should co-operate more closely and effectively.
She conveyed Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc’s invitation to the Moroccan PM to pay an official visit to Việt Nam, and asked the PM to convey the invitation of Party General Secretary, President Nguyễn Phú Trọng to King Mohammed VI to pay a State visit to the country.
For his part, the Moroccan PM said Ngân’s visit took place amidst the thriving bilateral political ties, and suggested the two sides strengthen their economic and cultural relations.
Congratulating Việt Nam on its socio-economic achievements last year, he said Morocco was also opening up its economy and had signed FTAs with major economies like the US, the EU and many Arabic countries.
The PM said as Morocco was playing an increasingly important role in Africa, the country stood ready to serve as a door for goods from Việt Nam and other countries to penetrate African markets.
He urged Việt Nam and Morocco to enhance their economic links and sign more agreements to facilitate those links, saying enterprises of the two countries needed to step up their connectivity to seek investment and business opportunities.
With political stability, both countries were safe for investors, he said, noting that Morocco had attracted the largest number of foreign investors in Africa.
In tourism, Morocco led North Africa in terms of foreign holidaymakers and expected to welcome about 12 million in 2019, he added.
The leader thanked Việt Nam for its support at international forums as well as at regional levels such as co-operation with ASEAN.
The Moroccan Government was determined to deepen and diversify its relations with Việt Nam, he said.
On the same day, Ngân received President of the Morocco-Việt Nam Friendship Association Elktiki Mustapha, during which she said that bilateral people-to-people exchanges were an important diplomatic channel.
Mustapha, in turn, stressed the significance of the Vietnamese legislator’s official visit as it took place on the occasion of the 58th anniversary of diplomatic ties.
He said that his association was set up right after the official visit to Việt Nam by Speaker of the Moroccan House of Representatives Habib El Malki in late 2017. It had established ties with the Việt Nam War Veterans’ Association.
He expressed his hope that Việt Nam would soon establish a Việt Nam-Morocco Friendship Association so the two associations could intensify co-operation for better mutual understanding between the two peoples. — VNS
Việt Nam, Morocco sign deals to boost environmental, trade, industrial ties
RABAT – Việt Nam and Morocco signed several memoranda of understanding (MoU) on environmental, trade and industrial co-operation in Rabat on Thursday.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Moroccan Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development inked a co-operation deal on the environment and sustainable development.
Also on Thursday, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Moroccan Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and the Digital Economy signed an MoU to establish a sub-committee for co-operation in commerce and industry (SCCCI). The SCCCI aims to enhance win-win commercial and industrial partnerships. — VNS