Vietnam, Greece to tap cooperation in strong fields hinh anh 1Greek Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos (R) presents a souvenir to Politburo member and Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee's Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh (Photo: VNA)

Athens (VNA) –
Vietnam and Greece should tap cooperation in fields of their strength such as navigation, services and tourism, Politburo member and Head of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee's Economic Commission Nguyen Van Binh has said.

He made the suggestion at a meeting with Greek Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos on September 17 as part of his visit to the European country from September 14 to 18.

Trade relations between Vietnam and Greece have seen positive strides in recent years, but are not on par with potential, Binh said, noting that two-way trade hit 330 million USD in 2018.

He thanked Greece for supporting Vietnam’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, as well as the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (IPA).

The Vietnamese official also exchanged views with his host on the complicated situation in the East Sea in recent times, and voiced his hope that Greece will pay attention to this important shipping route. 

He called on Greece to support Vietnam to address disputes in the East Sea via peaceful means, including diplomatic and legal measures, seriously implementing international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and resolutely opposing the use of force or threats to use force.

The official suggested the two sides enhance delegation exchanges to boost mutual understanding and cooperation as well as strengthen coordination mechanisms, particularly when Vietnam takes the rotary ASEAN Chairmanship and becomes a member of the UN Security Council in 2020.

For his part, Deputy PM Pikrammenos said Greece supports international freedom of navigation as well as Vietnam’s viewpoints and policies in settling disputes in the East Sea.

Greece also backs the ratification of the EVFTA-IPA, Pikrammenos said, calling on the two sides to cooperate in fields of their strengths like marine transport and tourism.

The same day, Binh had a working session with Greek Minister for Development and Investment Adonis Georgiadis, during which he highlighted the economic development situation in Vietnam and called for investment and cooperation from Greek enterprises, while
Georgiadis spoke highly of the economic reform and development of Vietnam over the past time.

Earlier on September 16, Binh attended a workshop with Greek businesses to call for investment in navigation. He also met with overseas Vietnamese in Greece.

On September 18, he is scheduled to work with the Communist Party of Greece to deepen ties, and attend a business forum exploring Southeast Asia./.