Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (R) and Foreign Minister of the Ivory Coast Marcel Amon-Tanoh (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam always pays attention to strengthening friendship and cooperation with the Ivory Coast, its second biggest trade partner in Africa, stated Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh.

Minh made the statement at talks with Foreign Minister of the Ivory Coast Marcel Amon-Tanoh in Hanoi on June 18.

Expressing delight at his first official visit to Vietnam, Amon-Tanoh congratulated the Southeast Asian nation on its recent election to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2020 – 2021 tenure with a record number of votes.

Both host and guest reached agreements on specific measures to deepen bilateral relations and capitalise on the two nations’ strengths. Accordingly, in the coming time, Vietnam and the Ivory Coast will increase the exchange of State and parliament delegations, and people-to-people exchanges.

Noting that bilateral trade grew rapidly in the past five years to reach approximately 1 billion USD in 2018, the two officials said trade-investment promotion activities between the countries need to be encouraged for further breakthroughs in economic cooperation.

Amon-Tanoh asked for Vietnam’s assistance toward his country in the areas of agriculture, telecommunications, and education-training. He welcomed Vietnamese firms to invest in the Ivory Coast.

Minh took the occasion to thank the Ivory Coast Government for supporting Vietnamese expatriates in settling down in the host country, thus helping with bilateral economic exchanges.

The sides agreed to soon begin their negotiation for and signing of documents to create the legal framework for the operation of their enterprises such as agreements on framework cooperation; trade; investment encouragement and protection; and double tax avoidance.

The officials also informed each other on current affairs of their respective nations and discussed international and regional issues of common concern.

They affirmed their support for multilateral cooperation and handling of disputes by peaceful measures in line with international law. They also committed to increasing exchanges and coordination at multilateral forums like the UN and International Organisation of La Francophonie.-VNA