The State and people of Vietnam want to further tighten friendship and cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and then increase ties with Middle East and Arab countries, State President Nguyen Minh Triet said.

The two countries have potential to expand cooperation based on the good foundation of political ties, President Triet said while receiving UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Hanoi on Oct. 22.

The UAE has strength in economics and finance, and Vietnam wants to see more UAE businesses pour investment, particularly in transport infrastructure and energy, into Vietnam, he added.

The UAE is among Vietnam’s major investors with a 3 billion USD total investment in projects being implemented.

President Triet took this opportunity to thank the UAE for its support for UNESCO’s recognition of Thang Long Royal Citadel as a world cultural heritage.

Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan stressed UAE leaders’ interest in diversifying investment in other countries.

The UAE understands Vietnam ’s open policies to attract foreign investment and administrative procedures and believes that UAE businesses have good opportunities for success in Vietnam, he said.

UAE firms want to invest in the construction of a port complex in Ho Chi Minh City and an oil refinery in Vietnam , the FM said, believing that the cooperation would benefit both sides.

FM Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said he hoped his current visit would also help the two countries promote cooperation in renewable energy and labour, along with trade and investment.

The UAE wanted to welcome double the number of 20,000 Vietnam workers who are in the UAE.

He congratulated Vietnam on successfully holding the ASEAN Chair 2010. As President of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the UAE supports and promotes cooperation between ASEAN and the GCC, he said.

Also the same day, Foreign Minister Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Deputy Prime Minister cum Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem, held talks to discuss directions in order to tap potential and further raise the effectiveness of cooperation, particularly in economics, trade and investment.

They reached consensus on guidance to the two countries’ relevant agencies to prepare for jointly organising the first session of the Vietnam-UAE joint committee scheduled for next month.

The two sides also agreed to sign an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders and an agreement on education and training cooperation./.