Deputy PM hopes for closer ties with Norway hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung (R) and Norwegian Ambassador to Vietnam Grete Lochen (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA)Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung asked the new Norwegian ambassador to Vietnam, Grete Lochen, to promote bilateral ties across economic, trade, and investment spheres during a reception in Hanoi on February 26.

Dung said bilateral ties have been growing over the past few years with regular visits by leaders and bilateral exchanges on the sidelines of multilateral forums.

Two-way trade hit 363 million USD last year. Vietnam enjoyed a trade surplus with Norway with key products such as apparel, footwear, wood and wooden furniture, and cashew nuts; meanwhile importing aquatic products, machinery and equipment, and fertilisers. Norway now has 41 valid projects in Vietnam worth a total of 166 million USD.

The Deputy PM urged the ambassador to encourage Norwegian firms to invest in fields of Vietnam’s demand and Norway’s strength, such as navigation, shipbuilding, aquaculture, renewable energy, and tourism.

He also asked for the acceleration of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Fair Trade Association in the spirit of mutual interest.

Lochen, for her part, vowed to do her best to reinforce bilateral ties.

With a long coastline similar to Vietnam’s, Norway’s marine-based economy holds great potential, she said, adding that Norwegian firms pay special attention to aquaculture and seafood-derived by-product processing in Vietnam.

During this year’s first quarter, a delegation of major Norwegian enterprises plan to visit Vietnam to realise set agreements. They are interested in renewable energy, and oil and gas exploration and processing, she said. –VNA