|NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Norwegian Ambassador Siren Gjerme Eriksem|
Vietnam hopes Norway will open its market for Vietnam’s traditional exports such as agro-forestry-fisheries, apparel and footwear, Ngan said, adding that two-way trade hit US$308.2 million last year.
Norway currently ranks 44th out of 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam with 34 valid projects valued at more than US$92 million.
She thanked Norway for providing Vietnam with important official development assistance, especially in environment, education, gender equality, health care, bomb and mine clearance, contributing to helping the country fulfill the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of schedule.
Eriksen, in turn, expressed her pleasure with the growing ties between the two countries, especially since the Vietnam visit by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in 2015.
She said she hopes the FTA will open up new opportunities for the business communities of both Vietnam and the EFTA.
The diplomat informed the host that a delegation of Norwegian firms will travel to Vietnam to seek cooperation opportunities in sea-based economic fields this May.
Both sides also shared the assessment that the two countries’ legislatures have enhanced their cooperation in both bilateral and multilateral frameworks. They agreed that the two parliaments should increase the exchange of visits by high-ranking officials and members of specialized committees to share experience and information.
In a separate reception of Czech Republic Ambassador, Vitez Slav Grepl, the Chairwoman praised progress in cooperation in all fields and exchange of high level visits.
|NA leader Nguyen Thi Ngan and Czech Republic Ambassador Vitez Slav Grepl|
As many Vietnamese people could afford to travel to the Czech Republic as tourists or visitors of their family, Chairwoman Ngan called for simplification of entry visa granting procedure for Vietnamese citizens.
Vietnam sticks importance to developing relations with traditional friends in the Central Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, she told her guest.
The Czech Republic ranks 45th among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, Ngan noted, expressing the hope that the ambassador will work harder to help bring their economic, trade and investment ties on par with the sound political and diplomatic links.
The Czech ambassador said about 100,000 Vietnamese people are living in his country, making them the third largest Vietnamese community in Europe, after France and Germany. They were recognized as an ethnic minority group with certain contributions to the Czech Republic.
The Czech Government has implemented a number of projects to help Vietnamese people integrate into the local society while still keeping their national identities, he added.
He pledged all-out efforts to strengthen the two sides’ connections in all aspects, including encouraging Czech investment in Vietnam and promoting tourism.
Chairwoman Ngan and Ambassador Grepl displayed their belief that along with regular visits and meetings, the upcoming visits by the countries’ leaders in 2017 will help bring bilateral relations to a higher level.