President Tran Dai Quang (R) and Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico (Source: VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang has asked Slovakia to push for the European Union (EU)’s signing of the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and recognition of Vietnam as a market economy soon, thereby boosting bilateral trade and investment.

In a reception for Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico in Hanoi on July 18, President Quang affirmed that Vietnam wants to continue its close and effective cooperation with Slovakia at multilateral forums, and believed that Slovakia’s role as the rotating president of the EU in July 2016 will positively impact Vietnam-EU ties.

He also urged Slovakia to support Vietnam’s bid for non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, member of the Executive Council of the Universal Postal Union for 2017-2021, and back Vietnamese representative Dr. Nguyen Hong Thao’s nomination to the International Law Commission for 2017-2021.

Speaking highly of the outcomes of talks between the two PMs, the host said Slovakia is one of the Central Eastern Europe’s top trade partners and investors in Vietnam, and Vietnam wants Slovakia to make it easier for Vietnamese goods to enter the country, particularly agro-forestry-fisheries, garment and footwear.

The State leader underscored Vietnam’s consistent policy of facilitating Slovak investment in the country, especially in infrastructure, railway, energy, environment, food processing and medical equipment.

Expressing thanks to Slovakia for training thousands of Vietnamese officials and experts in diverse areas, the President asked Slovakia to provide scholarships for Vietnamese students major in simulation technology, electronics, mechanical manufacturing, nuclear energy, health care and law.

Fico, for his part, said visits and exchanges between Vietnamese and Slovak leaders generate momentum for bilateral economic, trade and investment ties to match each country’s potential and expectations, adding that two-way trade has soared 15-fold over the past eight years but remains modest compared to their potential.

He revealed that the Vietnam-Slovakia Inter-Governmental Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation’s meeting in Slovakia in early 2017 will focus on four or five specific and high added value projects, and the Slovak government will convene a special meeting discussing bilateral economic collaboration.

The guest pledged that Slovakia will make the best use of its role as EU rotating president to increase bilateral ties between Vietnam and Slovakia, and between Vietnam and the EU.

Slovak legislature is expected to be one of the first EU’s law-making bodies to ratify the EVFTA, he said.-VNA