State visit to strengthen Vietnam-Argentina ties: ambassador hinh anh 1Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung (R) gives an interview to Vietnam News Agency ahead of President of Argentina Mauricio Macri's State visit to Vietnam from February 19 to 21 (Photo: VNA)

Buenos Aires (VNA) – President of Argentina Mauricio Macri will pay a State visit to Vietnam from February 19 to 21, which will create a push for bilateral cooperation in the time ahead, according to Vietnamese Ambassador to Argentina Dang Xuan Dung.

In a recent interview granted to Vietnam News Agency, the diplomat said the visit, to be made at the invitation of President Nguyen Phu Trong, will be the first to Vietnam by Macri as President of Argentina. It will be a remarkable milestone in relations of the two countries, whose bilateral diplomatic ties turned 45 on October 25, 2018.

The visit is an illustration of the importance Vietnam holds in Argentina’s foreign policy towards Asia in general and Southeast Asia in particular, especially since the Latin American country inked a treaty of amity and cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last August.

Meanwhile, the welcome of President Macri’s State visit will also show Vietnam’s high regard for Argentina’s role in Latin America, Dung said.

He added the documents to be signed during this visit will help perfect the legal framework facilitating the countries’ comprehensive partnership in a more substantive manner in the time ahead.

Giving an overview of bilateral ties, Ambassador Dung said the comprehensive partnership has sustained the upward trend in spite of certain impact of external factors and Argentina’s situation.

Aside from frequent mutual visits at all levels between their Parties, Governments and parliaments, important bilateral mechanisms such as the intergovernmental committee and the political consultation at the deputy foreign ministerial level have been maintained and improved.

The two sides have supported and cooperated with each other effectively at multilateral forums like the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation, and the South-South Cooperation within the UN’s framework.

Economic-trade ties are also a highlight in the countries’ connections, he noted, elaborating that bilateral trade was maintained at around 3 billion USD in 2018 – the highest of Argentina with a Southeast Asian nation. Meanwhile, Vietnam ranks second in Asia and fifth in the world among Argentina’s markets. Argentina, in turn, is the second biggest market of Vietnam in Latin America.

The two sides have been working actively together within the framework of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), of which Argentina is a member. Cooperation in other fields like agriculture, science-technology, education, health care, and cultural exchange has also recorded progress, Dung said.

The ambassador expressed his belief in a driving force to be created for bilateral relations during this visit, especially in economy and trade. He explained that commitments to be made by the countries’ leaders will outline directions for their ministries and sectors to finalise technical discussions about the opening of each market for each other’s fruits. The visit will also facilitate the consideration of a free trade agreement between Vietnam and Mercosur.

Additionally, a business forum during this trip with the participation of nearly 40 leading enterprises of Argentina and many Vietnamese firms will encourage bilateral trade and investment activities, Dung said.

After this trip, the two countries may begin discussing defence cooperation – a new area in their relations, and increase cultural and sport exchange.

He added that given these, he is confident in a bright future of cooperation between the two nations.-VNA