Vietnam treasures support from Ireland: top legislator hinh anh 1National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Irish President Michael D. Higgins (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Vietnamese Government and people appreciate Irish official development assistance, which has contributed significantly to socio-economic development in the Southeast Asian country.

National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan made the statement during her meeting with Irish President Michael D. Higgins in Hanoi on November 7.

Irish-funded projects are being implemented effectively in Vietnam , she said, hoping that the ODA will be maintained, particularly in poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation and sustainable development.

Ngan hailed Ireland’s upcoming announcement of a national strategy on development cooperation with Vietnam for 2017-2020.

She requested the Irish President and parliament to support the acceleration of the EU’s official signing and ratification of its free trade agreement with Vietnam.

For his part, Higgins said he is honoured to be the first Irish head of state to visit Vietnam , saying he is confident that the visit will give a boost to bilateral friendship and solidarity.

Noting his impression at Vietnam’s socio-economic achievements, Higgins lauded the role of the Vietnam National Assembly in boosting law enforcement, uniting people and meeting their expectations.

He spoke highly of Vietnam’s accomplishments in increasing the participation of women in law-making agencies, which he considered a similarity between the two countries.

Underscoring work toward gender equality, he said the Irish international cooperation agency lays great stress on projects on improving capacity for females and empowering them.

Informing his host about the outcomes of his talks with President Tran Dai Quang, Higgins said both sides agreed that education-training is a focus of bilateral cooperation. He and his Vietnam counterpart also concurred with a number of measures to help Vietnamese students easily obtain Irish visas.

According to the Irish leader, Vietnam has great potential to contribute to ASEAN cultural development, particularly in cinematography.

He hoped that the relations with Vietnam will support joint projects in the field between the two countries as well as between Ireland and ASEAN.

Agreeing with her guest, Ngan said both countries are active in joining multilateral institutions, including the UN. Vietnam is willing to connect Ireland to the 600 million-strong ASEAN Economic Community, she said, hoping Ireland will help Vietnam access the EU market, Ngan noted.

She expressed her wish that the Irish Government will create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese expatriates in the European country.

On the occasion, Ngan conveyed her invitation to Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Chairman of the Irish Lower House, to visit Vietnam in an appropriate time.

Later the same day, President Tran Dai Quang hosted a banquet in honour of the visiting Irish President.-VNA