Vietnam promotes multi-faceted cooperation with Spain hinh anh 1President Tran Dai Quang (R) shakes hands with outgoing Ambassador to Vietnam Alfonso Tena Garcia at the reception (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam wants to strengthen its friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Spain, an important member of the European Union (EU), said President Tran Dai Quang at a reception for outgoing Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam Alfonso Tena Garcia in Hanoi on March 3.

He expressed his pleasure at the positive development of the bilateral strategic partnership and recognised the ambassador’s remarkable contributions to the enhancement of the two countries’ relations during his working tenure.

Two-way trade has been developing in recent years with an average annual growth of 15 percent in recent years, he noted.

Spain is running 35 projects worth 36 million USD in Vietnam. However, the figure is still modest and yet to match the potential and strength of Spain – the fourth biggest economy in the EU.

The President suggested the two sides increase all-level delegation exchanges and implement activities to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties in 2017. 

He also took the occasion to invite the Spanish King to visit Vietnam soon. 

Vietnam and Spain should build an action programme as the foundation for their cooperation in the years to come, he said, adding prioritised areas include renewable energy, infrastructure building, tourism, and hi-tech ecological agriculture.

He called on the two nations to continue close coordination at international forums, especially the United Nations, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and ASEAN-EU.

He suggested Spain support Vietnam in its run for the post as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020 – 2021 tenure, and Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau to be the UNESCO Director General for the 2017 – 2021 term.

President Quang hoped the ambassador, in his new position, will always be a close friend of Vietnam as well as a bridge to promote the bilateral friendship and multi-dimensional cooperation.

The Spanish diplomat said during his four-year working tenure in Vietnam, he recognised that Vietnam has a lot of potential to reap more successes in the cause of national building and development in the time ahead.

He added that Spain always supports Vietnam in running for important positions at international forums and organisations.

The enforcement of the Vietnam – EU Free Trade Agreement will create a driving force for the bilateral trade, which has enjoyed high growth in recent years, he said.

He evaluated that the investment environment in Vietnam is favourable for investors, and believed that there will be many new projects run by Spanish businesses in the Southeast Asian country.-VNA