Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam always attaches importance to developing the friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Morocco, considering the country a priority partner in North Africa, said Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Phung Quoc Hien during his visit to Morocco from July 2-4.

He told Speaker of the House of Representatives Habib El Malki and Vice Speaker of the House of Advisors of Morocco Abdessamad Kayouh that his visit aims to promote legislative ties between the two countries, thus contributing to enhancing the bilateral relationship in the coming time. 

Hien suggested the two sides increase the exchange of delegations, especially at the high-ranking level, and continue their close coordination at regional and international forums, particularly within the frameworks of the UN, the Francophone community and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Trade between Vietnam and Morocco reached only 190 million USD in 2016, he said, commenting that the figure does not match their potential. 

Hien, therefore, called on the two countries to intensify connectivity between their businesses, focusing on such fields as trade, tourism, finance and renewable energy. 

At the same time, the two countries should expand tri-party cooperation in areas of their strength like agriculture, fishery and information-technology given that Morocco is the leading investor in West Africa, the legislator noted. 

He also proposed the early launch of direct payment services between commercial banks of Vietnam and Morocco to facilitate the operation of their businesses. 

For his part, Habib El Malki spoke highly of Vietnam’s role in the international arena, saying Morocco may choose Africa as one of the focuses of cooperation between the two countries in the time ahead since Vietnam is integrating deeply into the global economy. 

Vietnam and Morocco should further their collaboration, including inter-parliamentary cooperation, in order to increase their mutual understanding, he proposed. 

The two countries will convene a meeting of their Joint Inter-Governmental Cooperation Committee in the time ahead and plan to organise the Morocco-Vietnam Business Council to discuss specific joint economic projects, the host said, regarding these events as opportunities for the two sides to advance their trade ties. 

Meanwhile, Abdessamad Kayouh emphasised the need for Vietnamese and Moroccan economic cooperation committees to exert greater efforts to fully tap their potential for advanced bilateral relations. 

Vietnam and Morocco have maintained their good legislative ties for many years. The two sides inked a cooperation agreement in 2005 during former NA Chairman Nguyen Van An’s visit to Morocco. Former NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung received the Moroccan upper house leader in 2015 who was in Vietnam to attend the 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132).

While in Morocco, NA Vice Chairman Hien met with Moroccan Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani, who expressed his wish that Vietnam and Morocco will step up their cooperation in various realms, ranging from culture to education. 

The PM said he will instruct the Moroccan Ministry of National Education to conduct a working session with the Vietnamese Embassy to discuss the increase of Morocco’s scholarships for Vietnamese students. 

During the visit, Hien also had working sessions with President of the Morocco-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group Said Eddor and other Moroccan officials. 

On this occasion, he visited the Embassy of Vietnam in Morocco and met with representatives of the Vietnamese community in the country.-VNA