Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung joined his Portuguese counterpart, Pedro Passos Coelho, at the opening ceremony of the Lisbon Blue Business Forum on June 4 as part of his official visit to Portugal.

The forum is part of the Blue Week Lisbon 2015, held from June 3-5, attracting the participation of representatives from nearly 200 groups, companies, research institutes and technology centres involving maritime issues.

Speaking at the event, PM Nguyen Tan Dung stressed the importance of maritime economic development in line with environmental protection and maritime security maintenance.

He told the participants that with a total coastal line of more than 3,000km, Vietnam has set a sustainable development goal of becoming a nation strong in sea, rich from sea, with maritime economy contributing about 55 percent of GDP and 60 percent of export turnover.

Vietnam is intensifying maritime economic cooperation with other countries, including Portugal, he said, adding that the cooperation cannot be successful if navigation security, safety and freedom are threatened.

At present, around a half of seaborne goods are transported through the navigation route connecting Northeast Asia with Europe. However, on the route, in Vietnam’s East Sea, current large-scale construction of reef islands is violating international law, the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and regional agreements, undermining trust among nations and seriously threatening peace, stability, aviation and navigation security, safety and freedom, he said.

The Vietnamese Government leader asked the international community to have a strong voice to demand for an immediate end of these illegal acts, for settling all disputes by peaceful means with respect to international law, especially the UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and not making actions complicating and expanding disputes for peace and common interests of the globe.

Portuguese PM Pedro Passos Coelho affirmed that Portugal always wants to cooperate and discuss with Vietnam about developing maritime economy in the coming time.

Earlier, the Vietnamese leader visited the Lisbon port, one of the biggest ports in Europe.

Later the day, he left Lisbon for an official visit to Bulgaria at the invitation of his counterpart Boico Borisov.-VNA