Vietnam and Bulgaria have issued a joint statement during President Rosen Plevneliev’s official visit to Vietnam from October 27-31, agreeing on the development of the two countries’ ties towards a future strategic partnership.

To meet expectations and to the practical benefit of the two nations, both sides agreed with joint efforts to build a “new economic cooperation model” as the means to reach the goal of a strategic partnership.

The two sides stressed the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation and supported the further enhancement of contacts and cooperation by implementing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries signed on April 16, 2012.

In addition, they agreed to hold regular political consultations between the two foreign ministries, discussing bilateral issues, and their stance on international and regional issues of common concern.

Vietnam and Bulgaria were unanimous in promoting and diversifying economic-trade cooperation while emphasising the Vietnam-Bulgaria Inter-Governmental Committee on cooperation in economics, trade, science-technology, education-training cooperation and other fields.

They agreed to facilitate the operations and investments of both countries’ businesses and in the fields of infrastructure construction, planning, urban development, public transport systems, energy, environmental protection, and food processing.

The two countries also agreed to cooperate in finance in response to current economic-financial challenges, including experience sharing in public finance management, internal finance supervision and debt management.

Both sides wished to expand cooperation in agriculture, husbandry and aquaculture by implementing the memorandum of understanding between Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Bulgaria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

They supported the further enhancement of bilateral cooperation in energy, including nuclear, renewable and alternative energy and other relevant technologies.

They affirmed to increase cooperation in defence through strategic defence dialogues at all levels, and expand cooperation in training, experience sharing in preparing forces to take part in United Nations peacekeeping activities, response to crisis, natural calamities and emergencies in peaceful time. Bilateral defence technology cooperation and activities relating to military medicine, relaxation and culture-sport exchange were also covered.

Both sides also agreed to boost cooperation in security by signing an agreement on counter-crime cooperation, sharing experience and professional skills, training Vietnamese cadets and officers in Bulgaria.

They reaffirmed their wish to share experience in the protection and exchange of confidential information based on the agreement between the two governments on the issue signed on April 16, 2012.

They attested to continue promoting cooperation in education-training by carrying out the cooperation programme between the two education ministries for the 2012-2016 period, while encouraging direct cooperation between their universities and educational establishments.

The two sides agreed to speed up cultural cooperation through concrete programmes and activities like exchanging art and cultural delegations, organising film weeks and exhibitions on each country’s culture and people, and cooperating in cultural heritage preservation. The Bulgarian side pledged to assist Vietnam restore historical relics as well as train specialists in the conservation of heritage and archaeology.

Desiring to step up tourism links on the basis of the Tourism Agreement signed in November 2006, the two sides reached a consensus on encouraging direct contacts between the two countries’ travel and tourism companies and agencies in a bid to explore respective markets and seek possibilities of launching tours in each country. Boasting a developed tourism industry, Bulgaria affirmed to share experience, provide assistance to tourism promotion, train and develop human resources for Vietnam’s tourism industry.

Both agreed to work together in promoting mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation in information technology and communications by strengthening their related legal framework and encouraging direct meetings between their businesses.

The two sides affirmed their determination to scale up effective cooperation in science-technology by stepping up existing links as well as identifying new cooperative fields and encouraging the commercialisation of the outcomes of joint scientific research between the two countries. Both also emphasised the importance of the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Vietnam Science-Technology Academy and the Bulgaria Science Academy.

The two sides agreed that the Vietnamese citizens once working and living in Bulgaria and the Vietnamese community currently in Bulgaria serve as important elements to cement the friendship between the two nations, positively contributing to enhancing the countries’ economic and trade ties. Both affirmed to continue paying attention and creating favourable conditions for the Bulgaria-based Vietnamese community and the Vietnam-based Bulgarian community to act as bridges for the two countries’ relations.

The two sides emphasised the central role of the United Nations in maintaining peace and security in the world, advancing economic progress and social integration of everyone so as to deal with global threats and challenges. Both shared the view that all regional and international disputes need to be solved via peaceful measures in compliance with international law. Both sides will intensify their cooperation at the United Nations and other multilateral forums regarding regional, international and security issues as well as take into serious consideration the mutual support for each other’s candidacy for posts in international organisation and forums.

Vietnam and Bulgaria affirmed their willingness to exchange viewpoints on traditional and non-traditional security threats; the fight against international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, organised crime, pirates and illegal migration; the sustainable development and protection of the environment; maritime security; the promotion of activities of non-governmental organisations and associations; law-governed rules and human rights as well as other issues of concern.

Bulgaria supports the acceleration of the ties between Vietnam and the European Union on the basis of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) signed between the EU and its members and Vietnam. The two sides back the early conclusion of negotiations on a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the EU. Vietnam highly valued Bulgaria’s ratification of the PCA.

Bulgaria supports ASEAN’s central role in safeguarding stability and peace in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the grouping’s efforts towards building an ASEAN community by 2015. Vietnam backs Bulgaria’s bid to increase its ties with ASEAN and its member states.

Both sides were unanimous in working together in development projects designed for sub-regions, including that of the Mekong and Danube rivers, in an effective manner.-VNA