NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (L) meets her Bulgarian counterpart Tsveta Karayancheva on the sidelines of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland (Photo: VNA)

Geneva (VNA) – The National Assembly of Vietnam always supports government-to-government cooperation and will do its best to elevate bilateral ties with Bulgaria to the next level for a productive trade partnership, NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan has said.

Ngan had a meeting with her Bulgarian counterpart Tsveta Karayancheva on March 25 in Geneva, Switzerland on the sidelines of the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly.

The Vietnamese top legislator noted that Vietnam and Bulgaria have shared sound long-standing traditional friendship, stressing that Vietnamese people always keep in their mind the effective support that Bulgarian people have given to Vietnam in the past struggle for liberation as well as current national construction.

She highlighted progress in bilateral ties over the past years, especially in politics and diplomacy, expressing her hope that the two sides will continue increasing the exchange of high-level delegations of sectors, localities as well as parliament agencies to seek specific measures to boost bilateral partnership in all fields.

She noted that although two-way trade reached nearly 110 million USD in 2017, the figure has yet to match economic cooperation potential between the two countries.

The Vietnamese NA leader proposed that the two sides soon organise the 24th meeting of the bilateral Inter-Governmental Committee on economic, trade and science cooperation, while fostering connectivity between the business communities of the two countries by creating favourable conditions for them to join trade promotion activities in each other’s country, especially in energy, infrastructure, environmental protection, and food processing.

She thanked Bulgaria for training over 4,000 officials for Vietnam.

Ngan also showed her delight at effective coordination of Vietnam and Bulgaria at international forums and organisations. Vietnam highly values Bulgaria’s support for its bid to run for a seat at the Executive Board of the UNESCO for the 2015-2019 tenure, a member of the UN Economic and Social Council for the 2016-2018 tenure and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.

Vietnam hopes that Bulgaria, as EU President from January 2018, will help Vietnam strengthen ties with the EU and hasten the signing of the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement, she said, pledging that Vietnam is willing to help Bulgaria and the EU strengthen ties with other ASEAN member countries.

She noted that the NA of Vietnam set up a Vietnam-Bulgaria friendship parliamentarian group and suggested that the parliament of Bulgaria do the same.

For her part, Tsveta Karayancheva said that Vietnam has had an important role in the economic development policy of Bulgaria in particular and of the EU in general.

She affirmed that as the EU President, Bulgaria will work harder to support Vietnam to run for a non-permanent membership of the EU Security Council.

She revealed that the parliament of Bulgaria has established a friendship group with Vietnam, expressing her belief that members of the group will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between the two legislative bodies as well as the two countries in general.

She proposed that the two countries foster cooperation in tourism.

On the occasion, the Bulgarian top legislator invited her Vietnamese counterpart to pay an official visit to Bulgaria soon to discuss measures to bolster bilateral relations. NA Chairwoman Ngan accepted the invitation with pleasure.-VNA