National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) ​meets Czech Ambassador Vitezslav Grepl on March 22 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on March 22 received Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Vietnam Vitezslav Grepl, who considered parliamentary ties critical to the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.

Highlighting the countries’ stronger long-standing friendship and all-faceted cooperation, Chairwoman Ngan said Vietnam attaches importance to developing relations with traditional friends in the Central Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic.

She said thousands of Vietnamese people used to study in the country, and many of them are holding important positions in the State apparatus and the socio-economic life of Vietnam. She described them as a priceless asset of the two sides’ amity.

While bilateral trade is around 249 million USD at present, the Czech Republic ranks 45th among 116 countries and territories investing in Vietnam, she 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.

For his part, the Czech diplomat 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 recognised as an ethnic minority group with certain contributions to the Czech Republic.

The Czech Government has carried out 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 voiced 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 new height.-VNA