NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung’s official visits to the European Parliament (EP), Belgium and the UK from Dec. 4-11 were of great significance, realising the country’s socio-economic development orientations.

That is the comment made by Tran Van Hang, Head of the NA Committee for External Relations, while answering queries of reporters accompanying the high-ranking NA delegation on its tour to Europe .

The biggest success of the visit was that Vietnam and the three partners have enhanced mutual understanding, reached consensus on international and regional issues of mutual concern and stepped up cooperation not only in economics and trade but also in culture, healthcare, education, training, science, technology and people-to-people diplomacy.

“Through the visit, we deepened relations with the partners and helped them better understand the guidelines in foreign affairs and socio-economic development policies of the Party and the National Assembly,” Hang said.

The official said that the visit’s successes were beyond expectations as the parliament’s external relations are one of the three important channels of foreign affairs of the Vietnamese Party and State.

The establishment of the Vietnamese friends group in the EP during the visit constituted specific evidence in the NA’s external affairs. The group comprises wholehearted and faithful friends, who are devoted to boosting relations between the EU and Vietnam .

In addition, two business forums were successfully held in Belgium and the UK , with the attendance of managers, government officials, parliamentarians and businessmen from giant economic groups of the two countries.

Hang stressed that the NA Chairman’s visits formed part of a programme to renovate operations of the 13 th legislature, in which parliamentary external relations are one of the leading contents.

The EP and the Parliaments of Belgium and the UK all highly evaluated and looked forward to the visits of the Vietnamese delegation.

In particular, the Speaker of the Belgian House of Representatives went up the plane to welcome NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung. That was an unprecedented action in normal practice, Hang noted.

While in the UK , Prince Andrew chaired the Vietnam-UK business forum personally and gave a reception to the Vietnamese legislative leader. The prince said this is a golden time in the Vietnam-UK relationship and the two sides should step up cooperative programmes and projects.

The official also revealed that the Lord Mayor of the City of London pledged to assist Vietnam in the finance-banking sector./.