Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung expressed his belief in the bright prospects of the two countries’ relations in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (October 25, 1973 – 2018).

Since Vietnam and Argentina set up diplomatic relations in 1973, the two nations have made substantial steps towards developing their ties on the foundation of a parallel history, common interests and mutual trust and understanding, Dung told the VNA.

The first brick of the long-standing relations was laid through the support of Argentina for Vietnam’s struggle for independence and reunification in the 1970s, he said. In January 1995, Vietnam opened an embassy in Buenos Aires, and two years later, the Embassy of Argentina was opened in Hanoi in the presence of Argentine President Carlos Menem, he noted.

The two countries lifted their ties to the level of comprehensive partnership in October 2010.

Today, cooperation between Vietnam and Argentina in the inter-governmental cooperation committee, political consultations between the two ministries of foreign affairs, exchanges of visits and more has been translated into expanded partnerships in most areas, from politics, economics, trade to science and technology, education and culture, the ambassador said.

Furthermore, the two sides have backed each other at international and multilateral forums, including the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and the Forum of East Asia – Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC). They have forged collaboration in education and technical capacity building; held a number of experience sharing forums; and together carried out projects in agriculture, biotechnology, anthropology and genetics, including one to identify the remains of Vietnamese soldiers who went missing in action, according to the diplomat.

Dung also expressed delight at the remarkable progress of the two countries’ trade and economic relations in recent years. In 2017, two-way trade exceeded 3.03 billion USD, of which Vietnam’s exports to Argentina hit 482 million USD, up 32.4 percent from 2016. Argentina is now Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in Latin America while Vietnam is Argentina’s second biggest market in Asia and fourth largest in the world.

Vietnam mostly ships to Argentina footwear and accessories, rubber and rubber products, electronics, clothing and agricultural machines while importing soybeans, maize, wheat, cattle feed and pharmaceutical products.

He said he is happy to see Vietnamese enterprises have shown greater interest in the Argentine market and did everything possible to access partners via direct contacts or through the Embassy of Vietnam.

The ambassador suggested the two sides expand cooperation in investment, energy, agriculture, telecommunications, education and tourism.

To make this happen, Vietnam and Argentina need to improve the legal framework for their partnership through bilateral agreements. They must make the most of the inter-governmental cooperation committee, with the next meeting to be held on October 25 – 26. The meeting is expected to review and address issues that hinder the two countries’ cooperation.

He added that the two nations must also promote each country’s nature and people, update firms of each side on the other’s market, regulations and business climate, provide the firms with broader market access and promote investment, tourism and people-to-people diplomacy.

He said if these tasks are performed well, the Vietnam – Argentina partnership would thrive further and soon reach the level of strategic ties as expected, bringing benefits to both governments and peoples. –VNA