PM embarks on series of international visits

Update: May, 29/2015 - 09:10
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung is leaving the country today and travelling until June 6. — VNA/VNS Photo Duc Tam

HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will attend a signing ceremony for the Viet Nam – Eurasian Economic Union free trade agreement in Kazakhstan.

Dung is leaving the country today and travelling until June 6. He will also visit Algeria, Portugal and Bulgaria at the invitation of his counterparts in the respective countries.

With the visits Dung aims to promote new co-operative mechanisms and encourage more foreign companies to do business in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam and Kazakhstan established diplomatic ties in 1992 and have supported each other at the UN and in other international forums. They have also recognised each other as market economies.

They opened up opportunities for co-operation on oil and gas by signing several agreements between the Viet Nam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), and the Kazakhstan National Oil and Gas Company.

Negotiations on a free trade agreement between Viet Nam and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), of which Kazakhstan is a member, have been completed after eight rounds of discussion. The deal creates a legal framework and environment that fosters deeper economic ties.

Algeria and Viet Nam first formed diplomatic ties in 1962.

Viet Nam's major earners in Algerian trade include coffee, rice, phones and spare parts. In the first quarter, exports to Algeria rose 1 per cent over last year's US$68.6 million.

In terms of investment, PetroVietnam is conducting oil exploration and exploitation missions in Algeria. It is expected to start commercial operations in June. Nearly 1,200 Vietnamese work for contractors from Japan and China in the African country.

Portugal and Viet Nam established diplomatic relations in 1975 and have since exchanged delegations at various levels.

Bilateral trade has seen stable growth over the years, the level remains low. It rose from $90 million in 2008 to $364 million in 2014. The two countries aren't yet investing in each other.

Bulgaria, meanwhile, was one of the first 10 countries to establish diplomatic ties with Viet Nam – in 1950.

Bulgaria currently ranks 59th out of 101 countries and territories investing in Viet Nam. It has focused on the fields of processing and manufacturing, information and communication technology, science and technology, and services. — VNS