Both Vietnamese State President Truong Tan Sang and Azerbaijani President Ilham Alyev expressed their hope for strong multifaceted cooperation in the next few years during their talks in Baku on May 14.

President Sang, on his first visit trip to the Caucasus country, expressed his delight at the Azerbaijani people’s achievements in building and developing their country and Azerbaijan’s increasing position in the region and world.

He said Vietnam is eager to strengthen and develop its relationship with Azerbaijan and considers the nation its main partner in the Southern Caucasus.

Speaking highly of Vietnam’s important achievements in its reform process and appreciating Vietnam’s growing role and position in Southeast Asia, President Alyev underlined that Azerbaijan likewise attaches importance to developing a relationship and multi-faceted cooperation with Vietnam.

During the talks, the two Presidents informed each other of the current situation in each country.

The two sides agreed that Vietnam and Azerbaijan stand a good chance of deepening their political relationship and economy-trade cooperation.

They also focused on discussing and agreeing on measures to boost all aspects of Vietnam-Azerbaijan ties, especially in economics, trade and investment.

The two leaders agreed to exchange delegations, especially of business representatives, to boost trade promotion and increase the share of Vietnamese goods in Azerbaijan and vice versa, increasing the total trade volume to from 400 million USD in 2014 to one billion USD in upcoming years.

The first meeting of the Vietnam-Azerbaijan inter-governmental committee on economy, trade, science and technology cooperation to promote and accelerate the implementation of high-ranking agreements as well as plan future cooperation orientations will be organised.

Oil and gas sector cooperation is a long-term and strategic priority. President Alyev pledged to create favourable conditions, including legal frameworks, to increase Vietnam’s investments in Azerbaijan, laying foundations for joint oil and gas projects in a third country.

The two sides mentioned cooperation potentials in the light industry and real estate.

The two Presidents asked relevant ministries and agencies to seek ways to boost cooperation in education, training and tourism, as well as open a direct air route between the two countries.

Labour, construction, health and transport were also touched upon.

President Sang informed President Alyev of the recent situation in the East Sea and repeated ASEAN’s and Vietnam’s stance in resolving disputes through peaceful measures based on international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

ASEAN and Vietnam committed to fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea and expeditiously draft a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, contributing to ensuring peace, maritime security and safety in the region.

President Alyev expressed his support for Vietnam’s approach in dealing with disputes in the East Sea.

The two leaders appreciated the close cooperation between the two countries in international forums, especially the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.

President Sang urged Azerbaijan to support Vietnam’s bid for a seat in the United Nations Economic and Social Council for 2016-2018 and the UN Security Council for 2020-2021.

The two leaders witnessed the signing ceremony of an inter-governmental agreement on cooperation and administrative assistance in customs and another on aviation transportation.

They also oversaw the signing of memorandums of understanding between the Agricultural Ministries; the Transport Ministries; and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group PetroVietnam and the Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Corporation.-VNA