The 8th political consultation between Vietnam and Norway takes place in Hanoi on May 20 (Photo: tgvn.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam and Norway agreed to foster cooperation in marine economic activities during the eighth political consultation at the deputy foreign ministerial level in Hanoi on May 20.

The annual consultation was chaired by Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and the State Secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tone Skogen.

They informed each other about their respective country’s situation and discussed measures for enhancing bilateral relations as well as regional and international matters of shared concern.

The Norwegian side said it is impressed with Vietnam’s socio-economic development and increasing role in Southeast Asia, adding that Norway attaches importance to strengthening the friendship and effective cooperation with Vietnam.

The officials rejoiced at the progress in the two countries’ amity and multi-faceted partnership while agreeing to hold more all-level delegation exchanges, especially between senior officials.

Both sides will press on with implementing the agreements reached during the official visit to Vietnam by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in April 2015, particularly bolstering collaboration in marine economic activities such as shipbuilding, fishing and aquaculture, along with energy, oil and gas, green technology and information technology.

They concurred in continuing close coordination to promote negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association, so as to boost bilateral trade and investment activities.

At the consultation, Vietnam acknowledged Norway’s ODA provision over the past years, stressing that the ODA has been used effectively and has greatly contributed to Vietnam’s socio-economic development and international integration.

Norway is ready to continue helping Vietnam build and implement action plans to realise the Sustainable Development Goals, including climate change response, forest protection and natural resources management, Tone Skogen said.

The two sides were unanimous to work for stronger cooperation in education, culture and tourism through scholarship granting, manpower training and cultural exchanges.

They also mulled over ways to tighten affiliation at multilateral forums and international organisations, including the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM).-VNA