Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Nepalese Minister for Commerce Romi Gauchan Thakali (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh received Nepalese Minister for Commerce Romi Gauchan Thakali in Hanoi on March 9, asking the two countries to augment cooperation in the spheres they have potential for.

Minh congratulated Nepal on its development and re-construction achievements, including the settlement of consequences of the historic earthquake in April 2015 and the issuance of a new constitution in September 2015.

Vietnam treasures the traditional friendship with Nepal, he said, noting his pleasure with the solidified bilateral relationship, especially the flourishing cooperation between their ruling parties, he noted.

He called on both sides to soon finalise the negotiation on an agreement on visa exemption for each other’s holders of diplomatic and official passports, along with cooperation deals on economy, investment, trade, culture, tourism and aviation.

Bilateral trade reached 41 million USD in 2016, which is still modest compared to potential, Minh said. He asked Nepal to provide optimal conditions for Vietnamese firms to seek opportunities for investment in energy, infrastructure and telecommunications, and to export consumer goods to this country.

He said Vietnam set up an honorary consulate in Kathmandu capital in October 2016, hoping that Nepal will consider establishing a corresponding office in Vietnam to bolster ties.

For his part, Minister Romi Gauchan Thakali expressed his admiration at Vietnam’s socio-economic accomplishments, noting that his country wants to strengthen relations with Vietnam, particularly in economy and trade.

He hoped the two sides will increase delegation and people-to-people exchanges to share experience and promote collaboration.

The Nepalese official was in Hanoi on attend the UN high-level meeting for the Euro-Asia region on improving cooperation in transit, trade facilitation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.-VNA