Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh (L) and Colombian Vice President Germán Vargas Lleras. (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Colombia regards Vietnam as a key partner in Southeast Asia and wants to enhance win-win cooperation between the two countries.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos made the remarks during talks on July 14 with Vietnamese Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh who is paying an official visit to the South American country from July 13-16.

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh’s visit was the highest-level visit since Vietnam and Colombia established diplomatic ties in January 1979.

Both host and guest discussed measures to increase the bilateral collaboration as well as exchanged regional and international issues of shared concerns.

They evaluated that the bilateral relations have continually thrived across the fields with consolidated political ties and mutual trust.

Two-way trade reached over 364 million USD in 2015, a nine-fold increase against 10 years ago, they noted.

The two leaders said there is a large room for Vietnam and Colombia to boost cooperation in all fields.

They suggested soon establishing a joint committee on cooperation in economics-trade, investment and science-technology between the two governments along with maintaining and increasing high-level visit exchanges between delegations, ministries, localities and businesses.

They also urged the two countries to speed up negotiations to reach the signing of agreements to improve the legal framework in bilateral cooperation.

It is necessary to enable businesses to make inroads into the respective markets and set up cooperative ties in trade, telecommunication, agriculture, infrastructure building, healthcare, and science-technology in addition to supporting each other to penetrate into the Southeast Asian and Latin American markets.

Vietnam and Colombia agreed to enhance coordination at international organisations and multilateral forums, especially at the United Nations and Pacific Ocean , as well as shared viewpoints to address sovereignty disputes via peaceful negotiations and dialogues and in respect of international law.

Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh congratulated Colombia on its remarkable achievements in internal and external affairs, particularly the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana, Cuba, on June 23.

This creates a turning point for the two sides to reach the signing of a bilateral peace accord to end the over half-century civil war in Colombia , Thinh said.

She confirmed Vietnam is willing to share experience with Colombia in national reconciliation and addressing war aftermaths.

The same day, Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh had a working session with Colombian Vice President German Vargas Lleras, during which they affirmed to implement agreements to deepen the bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Earlier, Thinh and Colombian Minister of Foreign Affairs Maria Angela Holguin witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and seafood between Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and its Colombian counterpart, along with a cultural cooperation programme in 2017-2019 between Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Colombia’s Ministry of Culture.

At a meeting with Vice President of the Senate of Colombia Nidia Marcela Osorio, Thinh was told that the Colombian Congress hopes to further collaboration with the Vietnamese National Assembly in supporting the Governments’ measures to enhance bilateral cooperative ties.-VNA