HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc stated that Việt Nam valued the friendship and co-operation with Timor-Leste during a reception for Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Dionisio Babo Soares in Hà Nội yesterday at the start of the latter’s three-day official visit to Việt Nam.
Soares said he was happy to return to Việt Nam to step up bilateral co-operation across the board as well as co-ordination at multilateral forums.
He said the two countries’ ties had been growing but their trade value remained modest at US$2 million, noting measures were being sought to rectify the issue.
PM Phúc suggested the two countries increase high-level exchanges, set up mechanisms to improve the efficiency of trade and investment co-operation, organise more people-to-people exchanges to promote mutual understanding and trust, and sign new agreements or extend old deals to provide a foundation for co-operation.
The leader expressed his hope that Timor-Leste would continue assisting the Vietnamese community and businesses there to integrate into local society and contribute more to the host country’s development and bilateral ties.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh held talks with his Timor-Leste counterpart, during which they agreed on the need to promote bilateral co-operation in promising areas such as trade-investment, education, agriculture and fisheries.
Minh lauded the achievements Timor-Leste had made during national construction and international integration, expressing his hope that the country would become more prosperous with stronger voice and position in the region and the world.
Soares congratulated Việt Nam on winning a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council with a record number of votes, which showed the international community’s recognition of Việt Nam’s contributions to peace, stability, co-operation and development in the region and the world.
The two sides shared delight at the progress of bilateral ties since the two countries set up diplomatic relations in 2002.
They agreed to continue the exchange of delegations at all levels, sign an agreement on visa exemptions for diplomatic and official passport holders, and launch the Joint Committee on Bilateral Cooperation to create a forum for ministries and sectors from both sides to seek measures for stronger affiliation.
Both sides agreed to promote economic-trade co-operation by encouraging and backing businesses to seek opportunities in each others markets.
Soares praised telco group Viettel for its effective operation in his country, becoming the second mobile service supplier in Timor-Leste.
He expressed his hope that more Vietnamese investors would enter the Timor-Leste market, especially in construction materials, garments, footwear, electronics and dairy production.
The two sides said agriculture, seafood and oil and gas had great potential to become key areas for the future.
Việt Nam was willing to provide technical support for Timor-Leste and send experts to the country to help with personnel training, while sharing experience in coping with illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, said Minh.
Việt Nam and Timor-Leste agreed to co-ordinate closely at international and regional forums, especially within the UN.
Regarding Timor-Leste’s wish to join ASEAN, Minh pledged that Việt Nam and other ASEAN countries would consider the idea and give technical support to Timor-Leste for the country to meet the bloc's membership criteria. — VNS
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh (right) welcomes his counterpart from Timor-Leste Foreign Minister Dionisio da Costa Babo Soares yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp