President Tran Dai Quang (R) and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi during the latter's State visit to Vietnam in September 2017 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Delegation exchanges at the highest level between Vietnam and Egypt will create a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation to develop, said Vietnamese Ambassador to the African nation Do Hoang Long.

He made the remark in an interview with Vietnam News Agency ahead of a trip to Egypt from August 25 to 29 by President Tran Dai Quang. This will be the first State visit by a Vietnamese head of State to Egypt since the countries set up diplomatic ties in 1963.

Ambassador Long underlined the importance of this tour as it is not only a reciprocal visit after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to Vietnam in September 2017 but will also reiterate the commitments both sides made last year and strengthen bilateral connections in all aspects such as politics, economy, trade, investment, culture and education.

During the trip to Vietnam by President el-Sisi, the two countries’ leaders witnessed the signing of nine cooperation agreements in various fields, and the implementation of these deals has resulted in encouraging outcomes, he added.

During President Quang’s tour, the two sides plan to ink cooperation documents relating to finance, stock market, oil and gas and education. They will be a basis for them to translate words into action, reinforcing relations in trade, investment, culture, politics, education and many other areas.

[Egyptian newspaper hails cooperation prospects with Vietnam]

The diplomat affirmed that there remains much potential for both sides to strengthen links in fields of their strength, including agriculture, services and sea-based economy. However, current partnerships remain modest, with bilateral trade only about 350 million USD per annum at present. Their businesses haven’t had enough information to learn about each other’s markets.

To reach the annual trade target of 1 billion USD, both countries need to make stronger efforts, Long said, adding that they should create a legal corridor for enterprises, ministries and sectors to carry out concrete activities. Meanwhile, businesses also need to be more active in gaining information, learning about markets and seeking partners.

Services are the field Vietnam and Egypt should also increase collaboration in, especially those with high added value, since if they only depend on the export of goods, mainly agricultural products, it will be very difficult for them to boost trade to 1 billion USD.

The ambassador suggested cooperation be fostered in new spheres, particularly in the context of Industry 4.0, noting Vietnam has strengths in software production and export and telecom services. These are fields the two sides should capitalise on to raise bilateral trade to 1 billion USD each year.

In terms of culture and people-to-people exchange, Long said they are also important areas because culture and people-to-people exchange are the bridge helping the two peoples understand more about each other. He said the countries need to increase delegation exchanges between cultural and arts associations to boost mutual understanding.-VNA