Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borissov have agreed to bolster Vietnam – Bulgaria cooperation in all fields towards a strategic partnership.

During their talks in Sofia, capital of Bulgaria on June 5, the two government leaders said the key priority will be given to promoting the new model of economic cooperation and trade and investment links.

They intended to boost trade exchange and facilitating exchanges and partnerships between the two business communities, especially in areas of transport infrastructure, irrigation, garment materials, electricity and renewable energies, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, information and bio technology and post-harvest processing.

Ties across education-training, national defence-security, science-technology, culture, tourism and transport will also be reinforced.

Hailing the traditional friendship between the two countries, the PMs agreed to hold celebrations for the 65 th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties this year, including photo exhibitions, film screenings and exchanges of art troupes.

PM Nguyen Tan Dung thanked Bulgaria for adding Vietnam to the list of partners in its 2015 development cooperation agenda and asked for closer joint efforts in environment, waste treatment, water resource management and upgrade of relics.

Expressing thanks to Bulgarian authorities for their support to Vietnamese nationals living in the country, the Vietnamese leader also believed that they will continue acting as a bridge connecting the two countries.

Both sides vowed mutual support at the United Nations, the Asia-Europe Meeting, the ASEAN-European Union (EU) and international forums.

PM Borissov said Bulgaria backs the strengthening of relationship between Vietnam and the EU and will push for EU’s early ratification of the Vietnam – EU Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation, as well as the signing of a Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement, which he said would be useful for developing the ties between Bulgaria and Vietnam while making it easier for Vietnam to successfully integrate into the global economy.

On regional and global issues of shared interest, the two leaders shared concern over the recent complicated developments in the East Sea, including large-scale land reclamation projects. They stressed the need to settle disputes by peaceful means and refraining from the use of force or threat to use force in line with basic principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, towards early formulation of a Code of Conduct in the East Sea.

Following the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement on crime control between the two governments, a 2016-2017 cooperation scheme between the two justice ministries, memoranda of understanding on establishing friendly and cooperative ties between Ho Chi Minh City and Sofia city, and between the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho and Rousse city.

At a press briefing later, PM Nguyen Tan Dung and PM Boyko Borissov announced the outcomes of their talks and the issuance of a Vietnam – Bulgaria Joint Statement.

The Vietnamese guest declared that Vietnam welcomes and provides all possible support to Bulgarian investors active in Vietnam, especially in urban planning, application of bio-technology in agriculture and health care, information technology and communications, effective use of energy, environmental protection, food processing and tourism.-VNA