Deputy PM Pham Binh Minh enhances cooperation with Bulgaria hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (left) and Bulgarian National Assembly President Tsveta Karayancheva. (Source: VNA)

Sofia (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has called on the Bulgarian National Assembly (NA) to support the Governments of Vietnam and Bulgaria in taking measures to develop the bilateral ties comprehensively and pragmatically.

At a meeting with NA President Tsveta Karayancheva on July 4, as part of his official visit to Bulgaria, Minh urged the Bulgarian side to create more favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to integrate into the host society and thus contribute to the prosperity of both countries.

He thanked Bulgaria for its assistance to Vietnam, including the training of thousands of Vietnamese students and postgraduates, saying Bulgaria is now a second home to more than 1,000 Vietnamese people.

For her part, Tsveta Karayancheva recalled her meeting with Vietnamese NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan on the fringes of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva in March.

The two sides compared notes on an array of issues regarding relations between Vietnam and Bulgaria as well as their legislative bodies, he said.

Bulgaria backs the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, the leader said, considering the pact a door to multiple cooperation opportunities for businesses on both ends of the deal.

Host and guest shared the view that the 70-year Vietnam-Bulgaria friendship has created an important premise for the two sides to enhance their cooperation in all realms.

They spoke of the close collaboration between the Vietnamese and Bulgarian legislative bodies, which has significantly contributed to boosting the comprehensive development of the overall relationship between the two countries.

They held that the respective NAs should step up the exchange of experience in law-making and legislative reform.

On this occasion, Deputy PM and FM Minh conveyed NA Chairwoman Ngan’s invitation to Tsveta Karayancheva to visit Vietnam. The Bulgarian leader accepted the invitation with pleasure.

The same day, Deputy PM and FM Minh held talks with Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva.

Host and guest expressed their delight at the fruitful traditional friendship between the two countries, particularly in terms of politics and diplomacy, as reflected through the regular exchange of delegations at all levels.

They pointed out that bilateral economic and trade ties have remained moderate  with annual two-way trade averaging 100 million USD and Bulgaria’s investments in Vietnam hitting only over 30 million USD.

Vietnam and Bulgaria should advance their economic links to a new high on par with the political ties, they suggested.

Minh proposed Bulgaria increase investment in areas specific to Bulgaria’s strengths and Vietnam’s demands, such as in medicine, high-tech agriculture, information-technology, renewable energy, and urban management.

He also called for greater favourable conditions for Vietnamese agricultural products to access the Bulgarian market, and for Vietnamese nationals to visit Bulgaria.

Regarding regional and international issues of shared concern, they said Vietnam and Bulgaria should intensify their coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums, especially the UN and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), in order to improve their positions and maintain peace, stability, cooperation, and development in their regions and around the world.

They also underlined the need to deal with disputes by peaceful measures and on the basis of international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

They said cultural activities held in both countries recently  such as the Rose Festival and Slavic Script Day in Hanoi; Vietnam’s participation in the International Folk Culture Festival in Burgas and an international art festival in Sozopol,  have contributed to promoting people-to-people exchange as well as increasing mutual understanding between the two nations.

The two sides agreed to sign a cultural cooperation programme for 2018-2020 soon, serving a foundation for the implementation of activities in the field.

On education cooperation, they also agreed to soon ink a cooperation agreement on education for 2018-2022 in order to facilitate the enhancement of the exchange of students between the two countries, as well as collaboration in science and experience sharing between the countries’ universities and research institutes.

Bulgaria pledged to increase scholarships to Vietnam, particularly in training  Bulgarian language and international relations.

On the occasion, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh and his Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zaharieva witnessed the signing of a document on receiving property between the two countries’ diplomatic agencies.

After their talks, host and guest held a joint press conference. -VNA