Vietnam and Kazakhstan have committed to enhancing cooperation in various areas ranging from politics to economics, trade, industry, customs, judiciary, investment, culture, sports, tourism and aviation.

The commitment was made at the sixth session of the Vietnam-Kazakhstan Inter-governmental Committee on Economic, Trade and Scientific-Technological Cooperation in Hanoi on November 12.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang and Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister S. Sarubai co-chaired the event.

The two sides assessed the implementation of the previous session’s minutes, the Joint Action Plan for the 2011-2013 period, and outcomes of bilateral economic, trade, scientific and technological cooperation over the past time.

They also discussed issues affecting their cooperation while proposing concrete solutions to enhance the linkage in the time to come.

Deputy Minister Quang said political and diplomatic ties have developed fruitfully.

He said the visit to Vietnam by Kazakh President N. Nazabaev at the end of 2011 and the visit to Kazakhstan by President Truong Tan Sang in September last year have created an impulse for further economic and trade links between the two countries.

Vietnam and Kazakhstan have signed several important cooperative documents in various realms during the 2011-2013 period, including agreements on animal quarantine and protection, investment encouragement and protection, tourism cooperation and judicial assistance in civil and trade sectors, he said, adding that many others are under consideration.

Deputy Minister S. Sarubai announced Kazakhstan’s decision to open its Embassy in Vietnam next year to boost bilateral ties.

In an effort to create a legal framework for economic and trade cooperation, the two sides have also taken the initiative in negotiating the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia since early this year.

They also accelerated cooperation in culture, sports, tourism, aviation and investment, he said, citing direct flights from Almaty to Ho Chi Minh City launched by Kazakhstan’s national flag carrier, Air Astana.

Statistics released by the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade show that two-way trade between Vietnam and Kazakhstan have recorded remarkable growth with export-import value reaching 85.6 million USD last year, up 176 percent against the previous year.

In the first half of this year, bilateral trade revenue hit 74.7 million USD, representing a year-on-year increase of over 200 percent.

Vietnam’s major exports to Kazakhstan include phones and attached accessories, farm produce, garments and textiles, machinery and steel while importing chemicals, metals and ore from the country.-VNA