National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) receives President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile Fidel Espinoza Sandoval in Hanoi on January 20 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan hosted a reception in Hanoi on January 20 for President of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile Fidel Espinoza Sandoval, who said his country’s top priority now is promoting cooperation with Asian-Pacific countries, including Vietnam.

The host leader highly valued the Chilean parliamentarians’ presence at the ongoing 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF-26) in Hanoi.

Ngan emphasised that the two countries’ relations have developed basing on the solidarity and mutual support throughout history. Chile was the second Latin American nation, after Cuba, to establish diplomatic relationship with Vietnam in 1971.

She also appreciated the official visit to Vietnam and attendance in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Week by President Michelle Bachelet last November, which Ngan said helped bring the countries’ comprehensive partnership to a new stage of development.

Echoing his host’s view, Sandoval assessed that the comprehensive partnership has enjoyed progress in all fields. He noted that the Vietnam-Chile Free Trade Agreement, which took effect in 2014, has created a favourable legal framework for expanding economic ties. Bilateral trade rise from 170 million USD in 2005 to 1.04 billion USD in 2016 and 955.7 million USD in the first nine months of 2017.

He valued Vietnam’s socio-economic efforts and achievements, adding that Chile wants to enhance cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.

At the meeting, Chairwoman Ngan said relations between the Vietnamese and Chilean parliaments are growing, as seen in the frequent exchange of high-ranking delegations.

On the basis of the signed cooperation agreement, the National Assembly of Vietnam wants to strengthen links with the upper and lower houses of Chile in both bilateral and multilateral aspects. The two countries’ friendship parliamentary groups should also increase specialised cooperation and exchanges, she added.

On this occasion, President Sandoval invited Chairwoman Ngan to pay an official visit to Chile.-VNA