Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oreshaski will pay an official visit to Vietnam from April 6-9 in the context that the two countries are working towards a strategic partnership.

The two countries established their diplomatic ties on February 8, 1950. President Ho Chi Minh’s official friendly visit to Bulgaria in 1957 was considered a milestone in the history of bilateral relations.

Bulgaria gave Vietnam precious spiritual and material support in its past struggle for national liberation.

The two countries have maintained exchanges of high-level delegations, most recently a Bulgaria visit by Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan and National Assembly Vice Chairman Huynh Ngoc Son in September 2012 and an official visit to Vietnam by President Rosen Plevneliev last year. During the Bulgarian President’s visit, the two countries issued a joint statement on the development of their ties towards a future strategic partnership.

They have also coordinated closely at multilateral forums. Bulgaria backed Vietnam’s entry into the World Trade Organisation and the country’s bid to join a number of international organisations, including the United Nations Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council.

Meanwhile, Vietnam supported Bulgaria’s nomination for a seat at the UN Economic and Social Council and the Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, as well as for the Director-General post at UNESCO and Judge of the International Court of Justice.

Two-way trade between the two countries has increased gradually in recent years, from 58.7 million USD in 2012 to 67.7 million USD in 2013. It hit 12.2 million USD in the first two months of 2014, representing a year-on-year increase of 21 percent.

Bulgaria now has 10 FDI valid projects with a total capital of 30.94 million USD, ranking 58 th out of the countries and territories investing in Vietnam.

In terms of education and training, before 1990, Bulgaria helped train more than 3,600 scientists and experts and about 30,000 skilled workers for Vietnam, mainly in the fields of construction, architecture, information technology and agriculture.

During Bulgarian Education Minister Dmiter Dmitrov’s visit to Vietnam in February 2001, the two countries signed a cooperation programme to resume scholarship exchanges between them.

Today, more than 1,000 Vietnamese people, including 44 students, are living and working in Bulgaria, which is considered a favourable condition for strengthening bilateral ties.

The two countries have also signed a number of cooperation agreements on economics, trade, culture, health and tourism.-VNA