Norway’s State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Tone Skogen (Source: Internet)
Oslo (VNA) – Norway appreciates ongoing negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Area (EFTA) and Vietnam, which serve as a tool for tapping great potential in trade and investment cooperation between the two countries, Norway’s State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Tone Skogen said.

Talking the Vietnam News Agency’s correspondents in Europe on the threshold of the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, Skogen stressed that the signing of FTA between Vietnam and EFTA, which Norway is a member, will be an important step.

She highlighted the Norway- Vietnam ties, saying that the two nations recorded fruitful cooperation in many fields in recent years, especially in energy, seafood production, environmental protection and climate change adaptation, human rights and gender equality.

In a joint statement on partnership framework development issued by the Norwegian and Vietnamese Prime Ministers last year, the two sides stressed the need to further enhance bilateral relations, she said.

The two nations are seeking to sign an agreement on partnership in the coming time, she said.

Norway and Vietnam committed to promoting multifaceted cooperation in global issues such as climate change fight, United Nations reform, sustainable development goals (SDGs) and human rights, she added.

The two countries are among the largest seafood exporters in the world and Vietnam becomes an attractive market to Norwegian seafood exporters, Skogen said.

Many Norwegian firms have been established in Vietnam, she said, adding Norwegian and Vietnamese firms have complementary interests in many areas, including maritime service and industry, consumer goods, IT and green technology.

She suggested that the two countries expand links in maritime services and energy in the future.

According to the official, a stable and predictable business climate is the prerequisite condition for international enterprises, including those from Norway, to operate in Vietnam, therefore Vietnam’s commitments on economic and structural reform is important implication for this issue.

Valuing Norway’s vision and expectation of its partnership with ASEAN, Skogen said her country appreciates close links with ASEAN, and thanks Vietnam for promoting ties between Norway and the group.

Dialogue partnership in various fields is an important milestone in the increasing substantial relations between Norway and ASEAN, she noted.

Norway priorities cooperation with ASEAN in sustainable development, support for economic integration and facilitation to trade and investment cooperation, she said.

She added Norway believes that the ASEAN Economic Community can stimulate intra-bloc trade link, bringing benefit to ASEAN member states’ enterprises and facilitating Norwegian firms’ operations in the region, she added.-VNA