Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Uong Chu Luu has expressed hope that cooperation between the Vietnamese and Portuguese law-making bodies will usher in new prospects for bilateral partnership as well as regional and international ones.

Meeting with Vice President of the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic Antonio Filipe in Lisbon on June 26, Luu said he is delighted to see the two sides launching negotiations for several cooperation agreements, including those on investment encouragement and protection, double tax avoidance, tourism and science-technology.

These documents will provide a legal basis for higher bilateral economic, trade and investment affiliation in the future, he stressed.

Luu, however, raised the fact that the two countries’ two-way trade of 279 million USD in 2013, which nearly doubled the figure of 2012, still remains below their potential.

He asked for Portugal ’s support to Vietnam in boosting its relations with the European Union and its member countries, and gaining the EU’s early approval of the Vietnam-EU Cooperation Agreement (PCA), the soon signing of the Vietnam-EU free trade deal and the recognition of the country’s market economy.

He also briefed his host of the current tension in the East Sea after China illegally placed its oil rig deep inside Vietnam ’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, seriously violating Vietnam ’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

The Vietnamese official thanked the Portuguese Government for its support to the EU’s statement on the issue.

On his part, Filipe said as head of the Portuguese Communist Party parliamentarians’ group in the parliament, he has kept a close eye on the disputes between Vietnam and China and China’s illegal placement of its oil rig in Vietnam’s waters.

He said he will call on his fellow parliamentarians to raise their voice in support of Vietnamese people’s just struggle. All parties in the Portuguese parliament also back the expansion of multifaceted ties with Vietnam , he said.

Filipe added that he will propose leaders of the Portuguese parliament to set up a Portugal-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary Group and suggested the forming of a similar group in Vietnam .

On the occasion, Luu conveyed NA Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung’s invitation to the President of the Portuguese parliament to attend the 123 rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Hanoi next April.

Talking with the Vietnam News Agency correspondent after the meeting, Luu highly valued Portugal ’s support to Vietnam ’s just stance on safeguarding its sovereignty.

He said the Portuguese parliament held that peaceful measures for the Ease Sea dispute should be consistently used in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and DOC.

Earlier the same day, Luu had a working session with Joana Marques, General Prosecutor of the Portuguese General Procuracy and Joaquim Jose Coelho de Sousa Ribeiro, President of the Portuguese Constitution Court. They shared experience in the operations and management of the offices and discuss future connection.-VNA