President Truong Tan Sang and his delegation left the capital city of Astana on September 11, concluding their official state visit to Kazakhstan.

Earlier, in Astana, Sang met with Kazakh Prime Minister Karam Massimov and both agreed on long-term cooperation in the oil and gas sector, especially in exploration and exploitation in Kazakhstan, Vietnam and third countries.

The two sides affirmed that they should promote economic and trade relations to match the aspirations and potential of both countries.

The two leaders discussed and agreed on measures to facilitate imports and exports; the early signing of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Kazakhstan-Russia-Belarus customs union and other agreements to create legal frameworks for future cooperation in economics and trade.

After their meeting, Sang and Massimov attended the Vietnam-Kazakhstan Business Forum and the debut of the Vietnam-Kazakhstan Business Council.

Also on September 11, Sang received several Kazakh businesses leaders who said they believed that more agreements will be signed following the Vietnamese President’s visit.

The Kazakh business community praised Vietnam’s textiles and garments sector and proposed future negotiations with delegations of Vietnamese entrepreneurs.

The welcomed the goodwill that Kazakh businesses have for doing business with Vietnamese partners in order to expand their markets.

Sang said that bilateral trade still remains modest, reaching only 40 million USD per year.

Apart from investment cooperation, Vietnam will be a reliable partner for Kazakh businesses, Sang said, adding that Vietnamese businesses will help Kazakhstan fully tap its potential.

Both leaders discussed and agreed on measures to boost bilateral ties and pave the way for activities in mining, textiles and garments and the processing of agricultural products.

The Vietnamese Party and State are willing to facilitate Kazakh businesses in Vietnam and encourage Vietnamese businesses to expand cooperation with Kazakhstan in fields that both are strong in, said Sang.

Later, the President visited Kazakhstan’s oil and gas group KazMunayGaz, where he praised KazMunayGaz for stepping up Vietnam-Kazakhstan cooperation in energy in general and oil and gas in particular.

Sang proposed that Kazakhstan’s leaders and State agencies, including KazMunayGaz, help the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) initiate joint projects, especially those in the oil and gas industry.

He said he hopes that KazMunayGaz and their Kazakh partners will consider and get involved in projects in Vietnam and work with the PVN in third countries.

The President and Kazakh government representatives witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the General Directors of PetroVietnam and KazMunayGaz.

Under it, both partners will negotiate to sign an oil and gas contract where they will conduct joint research as soon as possible.

President Sang also visited Nazarbayev University which bears the name of the first President of Kazakhstan.

Speaking at the university, the President emphasised the role education and training and science and technology play in national modernisation.

He said he hopes that Vietnam and Kazakhstan will continue to cooperate in this field, which will strengthen bilateral cooperative ties.

The President stated that the Vietnamese people who studied and worked in Kazakhstan always consider the place their second homeland and serve as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

To make Vietnam-Kazakhstan relations match their full potential requires an effort from both countries, ministries and peoples, including the younger generations, who will continue to write the history of both countries relationship, he said.

The President also visited the new administrative centre in Astana.-VNA