Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue. (Photo: VNA)

Hano​i (VNA) – Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue began his working visit to Portugal on January 26, where he met with President of the Portuguese National Assembly Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues.

At the meeting, the two officials spoke highly of the positive development of the partnership between Vietnam and Portugal in politics-diplomacy, economy and trade. Two-way trade rose by 15 percent to 391 billion USD in 2017.

They agreed that the bilateral cooperation has yet to fully tap their potential and that they should increase the exchange of delegations at all levels and bolster cooperation in sea-based economy, shipping, renewable energy and tourism, among others.

Vietnam always treasures relations with Portugal, said Hue, noting that some leading corporations in Vietnam are accompanying him during the visit as an effort to enhance economic and trade ties with Portugal.

He urged Portugal, as a EU member, to take a more active role in bridging ASEAN and the EU and to support the early signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Rodrigues, for his part, recalled his memories 50 years ago when he, at the age of 18, flocked to streets to take part in anti-war demonstrations in support of Vietnam.

He highly evaluated Vietnam’s role in the international arena and voiced his support for multilateral trade and the signing of EVFTA.

Hue later had a meeting with Portuguese Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security José António Vieira Da Silva in which the two sides agreed that social welfare plays an essential role in ensuring stable socio-economic development.

The Portuguese ministry promised to assist Vietnam’s Ministry of Labour, War Invalid and Social Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs and Vietnam Social Security in reforming social security and wage policies.-VNA