Top diplomats highlights Vietnam-Spain sound cooperation hinh anh 1Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis (Photo: VNA)

Madrid (VNA) – Cooperation between Vietnam and Spain, on the basis of the strategic partnership towards the future set up in 2009, has developed soundly over the past years, the two countries’ top diplomats have said.

Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Alfonso Dastis had talks in Madrid on May 23, which was part of the former’s official visit to Spain from May 23-25. The trip is among activities marking 40 years of the countries’ diplomatic ties.

The two foreign ministers said the growth in bilateral ties is seen through regular meetings between the countries’ ministries and sectors at all levels, close coordination and mutual support at international forums, increased cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and soaring trade revenue, approximating 3 billion EUR (3.37 billion USD) in 2016.

To deepen bilateral cooperation, they agreed to continue increasing mutual visits at all levels and carrying out diplomatic and security-defence dialogues and the political consultation at the deputy ministerial level. They also concurred in effectively implementing the fifth financial programme, which was signed during the current visit of Deputy PM Minh.

The first meeting of the joint committee on economics, trade and investment should be held soon, they said, agreeing to work to lift bilateral trade to 5 billion EUR (5.61 billion USD) by 2020.

The two ministers valued the coordination between both countries’ ministries and sectors in organising important events marking the 40th founding anniversary of diplomatic ties this year, especially the ongoing Days of Vietnam in Spain.

Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Minh acknowledged the Spanish Government’s support to Vietnam through financial programmes, stressing the resolve to work with Spain to realise the strategic partnership in all spheres, especially in economy, transport infrastructure, renewable energy, hi-tech agriculture and environment.

He affirmed that Vietnam is ready to provide the best possible conditions for foreign enterprises, including Spanish ones, to do business and investment in the fields matching Spain’s strength.

Minister Dastis said the Spanish Government prioritises relations with Vietnam, and the Spanish people and businesses are taking increasing interest in Vietnam as shown in more than 58,000 Spanish tourists to Vietnam in 2016 and a number of investment and trade promotion events over the last couple of years.

At the talks, the officials also exchanged views on international regional issues of mutual concern, affirming that their countries will keep close cooperation at regional and international forums.

Spain affirmed its support for Vietnam’s development of comprehensive cooperation with the European Union (EU) and access to favourable financial sources of the International Development Association after 2017. It also advocates the early signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, Dastis added.

The Spanish side also shared Vietnam and ASEAN’s viewpoint on and approach to the East Sea issue, which is resolving disputes by peaceful means, adhering to international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), and working to finalise a Code of Conduct (COC) in the waters.-VNA