At a meeting between Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung and Minister of International Development Nicolas Astrup (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung and a delegation of the Vietnamese Government paid a visit to Norway from October 30 to November 2 at the invitation of the Norwegian Government.

During the visit, Deputy PM Dung had working sessions with Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjorn Roe Isaksen, and Minister of International Development Nicolas Astrup.

He also met with leaders of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise.

At the meetings, the Norwegian leaders conveyed their deep sympathies over the death of President Tran Dai Quang and congratulating Vietnam on electing General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong as the new President.

The two sides lauded the sound friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and Norway over the years with the regular exchange of delegations and meetings.

They spoke highly of the outcomes of the meeting between Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg on the sidelines of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in October this year.

They agreed that the two countries boast huge potential cooperation, stressing the need for stronger affiliation in the spheres of oil and gas, shipbuilding, maritime transport, culture, education, and tourism.

At the meeting with Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide, Deputy PM Dung expressed his hope that Norway will have a stronger voice to support the settlement of disputes in the East Sea through peaceful measures in line with international law. The two sides concurred to continue supporting each other at multilateral forums and the United Nations.

At the meetings with Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjorn Roe Isaksen and Minister of International Development Nicolas Astrup, both sides recognised the growth in bilateral economic cooperation with two-way trade in recent years reaching over 350 million USD per year.

Norway currently has 40 projects in Vietnam with a total investment of over 160 million USD, ranking 41st out of 129 foreign investors in the Southeast Asian country.

Deputy PM Dung suggested Norway help speed up the signing and ratification of the European Union-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Meeting with leaders of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise, Deputy PM Dung underscored that Norway is an important partner of Vietnam. He highlighted many investment opportunities in Vietnam as a result of the equitisation of State-owned enterprises.

He pledged that Vietnam will create a favourable investment and business environment for foreign firms, including those from Norway, to invest and do business equally in the country.

The Deputy PM proposed that Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global and the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise send business delegations to Vietnam to further explore the market. Currently, the 1 trillion USD fund is investing in a number of big firms in Vietnam, including Vinamilk, MBank, and Hoa Phat Group.

Representatives of Norwegian firms showed interest in cooperation and investment opportunities in Vietnam, listing the country as one of the top newly-emerged markets.

They expressed hope that the Government of Vietnam will continue reforming the institutional and legal system, while also simplifying procedures for imports, and supporting Norwegian firms to invest particularly in shipbuilding, oil and gas, aquaculture, hydropower, wind power, and pharmaceuticals.

During the visit, Deputy PM Dung also had a meeting with officials of the Vietnamese embassy and the Vietnamese community in the country.–VNA