PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc (R) and his Slovakian counterpart Robert Fico witness the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Vietnam's FPT group and Slovakia's Gratex International ​company (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Slovakian counterpart Robert Fico compared notes on specific measures to step up cooperation between the two countries during their talks in Hanoi on July 18.

The two leaders said bilateral economic and trade ties has developed steadily over the recent past, with an average annual two-way trade of about 300 million USD. Slovakia is running five projects in Vietnam while the Southeast Asian country has only one project in Slovakia.

In an effort to advance the economic links, they agreed to improve the efficiency of the Vietnam-Slovakia Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation, and increase trade and investment promotion.

The countries will also create optimal conditions for their businesses to set up partnerships, particularly infrastructure construction, food processing, pharmaceutical products, urban and public transport planning, environmental protection and water resource management.

The PMs were also unanimous to foster collaboration in national defence and security, culture, education-training, science and technology.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc said PM Robert Fico’s visit will create a momentum to deepen the time-honoured friendship and all-round cooperation between the two countries in an effective and pragmatic fashion in the new period.

Vietnam always gives importance to consolidating and developing relations with its traditional friends, including Slovakia, he affirmed.

Congratulating PM Robert Fico and the Slovakian Government on Slovakia’s assumption of the EU’s rotating presidency, the host expressed his belief that the country will outstandingly perform this post in the context that the union is facing a galaxy of challenges.

For his part, the guest said Slovakia always considers Vietnam a friendly and long-standing partner, and wishes to beef up ties with the Southeast Asian country across fields.

Robert Fico underlined Slovakia’s backing of enhanced relations between Vietnam and the EU as well as the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. He promised to accelerate the EU’s recognition of Vietnam’s full market economy at the same time with the official signing of the pact.

The two leaders noted with joy the two countries’ close and effective coordination at international forums.

They shared their concerns over recent developments in the East Sea and stressed the need to address disputes in the waters through peaceful measures and in line with international law, the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and seriously observe the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea towards the early formation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

They regarded this as an effective method to ensure peace, stability, maritime and aviation security, safety and freedom, and trading in the East Sea.

PM Robert Fico invited PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc to pay an official visit to Slovakia in the coming time. The Vietnamese PM accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Following their talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a handful of cooperation documents in transportation, information and communications, investment and education. They then held a press briefing to announce outcomes of their talks.-VNA