Vietnamese Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh (L) meets Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis on October 20 (Photo: VNA)

Riga (VNA) – Vice President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh applauded recent strides in the Vietnam – Latvia traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation, especially in economy-trade, while meeting with Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis in Riga on October 20.

The meeting formed part of the Vietnamese leader’s official visit to the European nation from October 19 to 21.

She noted Vietnam has become the biggest Southeast Asian trade partner of Latvia with bilateral trade reaching 161 million USD in 2016, rising tenfold from 2010. The figure stood at 126 million USD in the first nine months of 2017, up 10 percent from a year earlier.

To enhance multifaceted ties, she asked both sides to soon sign an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders and suggested cooperation measures in terms of politics-diplomacy, trade-investment, education-training, defence-security, and consular affairs.

She took this occasion to deliver President Tran Dai Quang’s invitation to visit Vietnam to Latvian President Vejonis.

The Latvian leader described Vice President Thinh’s trip to his country, which coincides with the 25th founding anniversary of the countries’ diplomatic ties, a landmark in bilateral relations.

He also expressed his sympathy for Vietnam on the heavy losses caused by recent floods.

He thanked the Southeast Asian nation for recognising the alien’s passports of Latvia, which will create favourable conditions for Latvian holders of these passports to enter and exit from Vietnam.

Latvia is ready to support Vietnam to enhance relations with the European Union (EU), President Vejonis said, lauding the conclusion of the Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement negotiation. He expressed his hope that the deal will be signed and ratified soon to create a basis for future cooperation between Vietnam and the EU, including Latvia.

At the meeting, the two sides also agreed to strengthen coordination at international and regional forums, especially within the framework of the United Nations, increase delegation exchanges at all levels, and step up ties in education and science-technology, particularly high and green technology.

After a double taxation avoidance agreement, the countries are about to sign an educational cooperation deal and negotiate readmission and aviation agreements, thus providing a synchronous legal framework for their all-round partnerships.

Following their meeting, Vice President Thinh and President Vejonis witnessed the signing of an agreement on double taxation avoidance and income tax evasion prevention and an accompanied protocol between the Vietnamese and Latvian Governments. Vietnamese Ambassador to Latvia Doan Thi Phuong Dung and Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece Ozola inked the deal.

Also on October 19, the Vice President visited the Riga Technical University, the oldest technical university in the Baltic region.-VNA