Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (left) and Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos. (Source: VNA)

Rome (VNA) – Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos has affirmed his support for enhancing all-round cooperation with Vietnam during his reception for visiting Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on July 2.

He said with its geographical location and development achievements, Vietnam has played an increasingly important role in the region and the world at large.

Lauding Minh’s official visit to Greece from July 1-2, the host said the trip will contribute to promoting bilateral ties.

For his part, Minh expressed his wish for further friendship between the two countries by increasing high-ranking delegation exchanges and high-level meetings, as well as expanding cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, investment, culture, and tourism.

On this occasion, the official conveyed President Tran Dai Quang’s invitation to President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to pay an official visit to Vietnam. The Greek President accepted the invitation with pleasure.

Talking about regional and global issues, host and guest affirmed their support for the enforcement of international law, and agreed to join hands for peace and stability in the region and the wider world.

During his visit, Deputy PM and FM Minh met with Greek Deputy PM and Minister of Economy and Development Giannis Dragasakis.

The two sides shared the view that although bilateral trade climbed from 196 million USD in 2015 to 335 million USD in 2017, it has failed to match the potential and aspirations of both countries.
 
At the meeting between Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh Minh and Greek Deputy PM and Minister of Economy and Development Giannis Dragasakis. (Source: VNA)

They suggested stepping up collaborative efforts in such areas as maritime transportation and logistics, shipbuilding, seaport exploitation, tourism, and agricultural product processing.

Minh called on the Greek Government and enterprises to increase business and investment activities with Vietnam, and the chambers of commerce of the two countries to organise further events, such as business forums.

Vietnam stands ready to work as a bridge helping Greek enterprises enter the Southeast Asia and Asia-Pacific markets, he stressed.

Giannis Dragasakis said as a gateway to Europe, Greece wants to strengthen collaboration with Vietnam, and backs the early signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement.

Greece is willing to share its experience with Vietnam in tourism, seaport management and exploitation, and maritime transportation, he said.

The two sides agreed to create a legal framework to promote bilateral economic and trade ties, including negotiations for the signing of an agreement on double taxation avoidance, and another agreement on maritime transportation.

While in Greece, Minh held talks with Greek FM Nikos Kotzias, during which they noted with pleasure the fruitful bilateral friendship and cooperation across several fields over the past 40 years since the two countries set up diplomatic ties.

 

Following their talks, Deputy PM and FM Pham Binh Minh (left) and Greek FM Nikos Kotzias reached a bilateral agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders. (Source: VNA)

The two sides should increase meetings at different levels in order to improve mutual understanding, and roll out specific measures to advance the bilateral ties effectively and comprehensively, they said.

The officials agreed to continue to effectively realise the memorandum of understanding on tourism cooperation between Vietnam and Greece, while forging partnerships in education and training, archaeology, and culture.

They also consented to increase exchanges between the two foreign ministries and exchange officials specialising in international relations and maritime laws, while enhancing coordination at regional and international forums.

Minh urged the Greek Government to create conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country to have a stable legal status and integrate into the host society, thus contributing to local socio-economic development as well as the greater friendship between the two countries.

Following the talks, the officials reached a bilateral agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders.

On July 1, Deputy PM and FM Minh had a meeting with the staff of the Vietnamese Embassy and representatives of the Vietnamese community in Greece. -VNA