Vietnamese Foreign Deputy Minister Ha Kim Ngoc and Norwegian State Secretary Morten Høglund co-chaired the sixth political consultation at a deputy ministerial level between the two countries in Hanoi on January 16.

The two sides were updated on each country’s situation as well as tabled measures to boost bilateral relations and international issues of mutual concern.

The guest affirmed that Norway always attaches much importance to the intensification of its friendship and cooperation with Vietnam .

They expressed their delight at positive developments of Vietnam and Norway’s multifaceted collaboration in the past time, agreeing to step up delegation exchanges at all levels.

In the short-term, they will work closely to prepare for an upcoming visit to Vietnam by the Norwegian Crown Prince and Princess in March, considering this as an opportunity to further bilateral ties, particularly in potential economic fields like ship building and clean energy.

The Vietnamese side thanked Norway for providing official development assistance (ODA) which has greatly contributed to Vietnam ’s socio-economic development and international integration.

The host also asked the European country to continue its ODA provision, especially for climate change adaptation, forest protection, natural resource management and education–training.

They agreed to work more to accelerate the completion of negotiations for a free trade agreement between Vietnam and the European Free Trade Association, forming a legal base for strengthening bilateral trade and investment cooperation.

Vietnam and Norway were unanimous in closely coordinating at multilateral and international forums, especially in the United Nations, ASEAN and ASEM. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese side said it welcomes Norway’s further collaboration with ASEAN and supports the ASEAN–Norway partnership.

Norway reiterated that it supports Vietnam in maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, settling disputes by peaceful means on the basis of international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, fully implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea, and speeding up the negotiation process for a Code of Conduct of Parties in the East Sea.-VNA