Rudolf Jindrak, head of the Czech Presidential Office's foreign section (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The visit of Czech President Milos Zeman to Vietnam is one of his most important overseas trips in 2017, as the country is a key partner of the Czech Republic in Southeast Asia.

Rudolf Jindrak, head of the Czech Presidential Office's foreign section, made the remark at an exclusive interview for the Vietnam News Agency. 

He said this is the first visit to Vietnam by Milos Zeman since taking office as President of the Czech Republic, adding that Zeman was to the country in the past as Prime Minister.

The official noted that the visit aims at boosting bilateral cooperation across sectors, particularly trade and tourism.

In 2016, about 14,000 Czech tourists arrived in Vietnam.

Stressing the time-honoured friendship with Vietnam, Jindrak said to the Czech Republic, Vietnam is also a gateway to Southeast Asia.

The Czech Republic is the only country in Europe has recognised Vietnamese among its ethnic minority groups, he stated, adding that the community has contributed significantly to local socio-economic development and to bilateral relations.

Vietnamese expatriates are the third biggest ethnic minority group of the Czech Republic.

The three-day official visit to Vietnam made by Czech President Milos Zeman began on June 6.-VNA