President Tran Dai Quang. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – President Tran Dai Quang has said his upcoming visit to Egypt once again confirms Vietnam's desire to continue boosting the momentum for bilateral relations between the two countries to grow with a greater effectiveness and substance.

The President made the statement in an interview granted to Egyptian media on the occasion of his State visit to Egypt from August 25-29 at the invitation of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The following is the full text of the interview.

Your Excellency Mr. President! Could you share with us the purpose and significance of your present visit to Egypt?

President Tran Dai Quang:
At the invitation of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, it is my great pleasure to lead a high-level delegation to pay a State visit to Egypt at a time when our two countries are holding a range of significant events to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the official diplomatic relations. This is my first visit as the President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the first visit by a high-level Vietnamese leader to Egypt since the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic ties in 1963.

After more than half a century,  friendship between Vietnam and Egypt friendship,  nurtured by generations of our leaders and peoples, has become our shared pride and treasure. Never will the Vietnamese people forget the kind assistance that the Egyptian people have given us when we fought for the national independence in the past as well as in the course of national construction and development today. We follow with keen interest the great accomplishments that you have recently achieved and would like to offer our sincere congratulations to the Egyptian State and people. With that, Egypt has now become one of the top three economies in Africa, enjoying ever greater role and influence in the region and the world. 

I am very pleased that following the visit by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Vietnam in September 2017, the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Egypt has flourished in all areas. My visit to Egypt once again confirms Vietnam's desire to continue boosting the momentum for our  bilateral relations to grow with a greater effectiveness and substance.

In this visit, I will hodl talk with His Excellency President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, meet with His Excellency Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, His Excellency the Speaker of the House of Representatives Abdel Ali Aal, and other Egyptian leaders at the local level  to discuss with them the directions and measures to promote cooperation and friendship between the two countries in politics, defense, security, trade, investment, agriculture, education and training, culture and tourism, cooperation between localities, people-to-people exchanges, as well as our coordination at international forums.

Mr. President, could you please share your view on the relationship between the two countries in recent years and the prospects of Vietnam – Egypt cooperation in the future?

President Tran Dai Quang: Looking back at the history, Egypt was among the first Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam at the critical moment in our people's struggle for national liberation and reunification.  More significantly, Egypt was the country President Ho Chi Minh had set foot three times in his revolutionary life.

Over the last 55 years, the friendship between Vietnam and Egypt has taken great strides in various fields.

Politically, the two sides are maintaining exchanges of delegations at various levels through the Party, government, parliamentary and people-to-people channels, and are coordinating closely at multilateral forums, in particular the United Nations, the South-South cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement, and within Francophonie. The 5th Meetings of the two countries' Intergovernmental Committee was held in Hanoi in August 2017, thus promoting cooperation in effective and substantial ways.

Egypt is presently Vietnam's fifth largest trade partner in Africa. Bilateral trade turnover has been steadily increasing year by year; with the first half of 2018 alone registered a 44 percent year-on-year increase.

Cultural and educational cooperation as well as people-to-people ties have also seen great strides. Egypt is assisting to train Arabic language for Vietnamese students. The two sides have also signed an MoU on tourism cooperation, Programs on Cultural and Tourism cooperation, thus creating a solid framework for tourism promotion and cultural exchange activities in each country.

In the time to come, with a market of 100 million people in each country, we will enjoy many great opportunities and potential for cooperation, including the promotion of exports of each country's key products into the other's market, and the mutual assistance in market expansion. Vietnam stands ready to assist Egypt to access the ASEAN market, while hoping Epypt be a gateway for Vietnam’s entry to the Middle East and African markets. During the visit by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Vietnam last year, we had reached an agreement that the key area for cooperation in the future would be the promotion of economic – trade – investment cooperation, to live up to the  excellent friendship and the potentials of our two countries.

Given the establishment of the Vietnam – Egypt Subcommittee on Trade and Industry and the success of its first Session in April 2018, I have every reason to believe that the target for bilateral trade turnover of 1 billion USD set by the two countries' top leaders shall soon be realised.

In my talks with the high-level leaders of Egypt, I will discuss measures for the two sides to continue cooperating, tapping into the enormous potential and assisting each other for joint development. A wide range of agreements are being actively prepared by our respective ministries and agencies to be signed during my visit, so as to bolster the legal framework for economic cooperation between our two countries.

There are immense prospects and potentials for cooperation across all areas between Vietnam and Egypt. Given the determination of high-level leaders and the support and enthusiasm from every ministry, sector, locality, business and citizen of the two countries, there is every cause for the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and Egypt to flourish and grow extensively and intensively, serving our mutual interests, as well as peace, stability and development in the region and the world.-VNA