The Vietnam-Spain Friendship Association and the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam held a friendly exchange in Hanoi on May 22 to celebrate 38 years of the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

Chairman of the Vietnam-Spain Friendship Association - Deputy General Director of the Vietnam News Agency Nguyen Hoai Duong expressed his pleasure at the growing relations between the two countries since they established bilateral diplomatic ties in 1977 and a strategic partnership in 2009.

He emphasised that this has benefited the two nations and peoples not only in economics and trade but also culture, tourism and education.

The association has made great contributions to bilateral relations by organising a number of activities under various forms to promote the friendship and cooperation with Spanish partners, he said.

The chairman added that in 2015, the association will further expand friendship and cooperation exchanges, especially with the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam .

He said he hopes the Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam will actively work with the association to enhance friendly gatherings and cooperation in the fields of mutual interests.

Ambassador Alfonso Tena Garcia highly valued the cooperative programmes between his country and Vietnam, noting that the bilateral cooperation has been developing in various fields such as politics, economics, culture and education.

He noted some important cooperative programmes that are underway such as the construction of the Noi Bai – Lao Cai highway; the bus systems in Hai Phong and Hanoi; and underground routes in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The ambassador recalled that last year, the two countries signed a number of cooperation agreements in aviation transport, criminal extradition and transfer of sentenced prisoners.

He revealed that the energy Repsol group is making plans to invest in Vietnam.

Two-way trade between Vietnam and Spain reached 2.5 billion USD in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 20 percent.-VNA