Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai and Venezuelan Vice President Rafael Ramirez co-chaired the second meeting of the inter-governmental committee between the two countries that opened in Caracas, Venezuela on April 19.

In his opening speech, the Venezuelan Vice President cum Minister of Energy and Oil said the content of the meeting was of great significance, creating new developments in cooperative fields between the two countries.

Reviewing the agreements reached between the two countries’ high-ranking leaders during the Vietnam visit by President Hugo Chavez in 2007 and at the first inter-governmental committee meeting, Vice President Rafael Ramirez said he expects the committee’s working groups to reach agreements with a view to realising joint projects, thus bringing benefits for both sides.

He also showed interest in cooperative projects in oil and gas, agriculture, power and culture which have been implemented by the two sides.

Sharing the same view, Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai said the meeting was a suitable venue for the two sides to review the implementation of joint projects and propose measures to accelerate their implementation, to realise 50 cooperative documents signed over the last four years.

The Deputy PM spoke highly of the efforts made by agencies and partners of both countries in the implementation of cooperation in agriculture, cultural exchange. He stressed especially the strategic importance of oil and gas cooperation to both countries, saying it contributes to ensuring energy security for Vietnam and helping Venezuela expand its relations with East Asia.

He said the Vietnamese Government supports the Junin 2 project’s plan to exploit first oil flow in 2012 and expects that the two sides will work hard to achieve set targets.

Hai asked the working groups to review the project’s progress, propose measures to deal with procedural difficulties as well as discuss future cooperative opportunities.

In their following discussions, in terms of agriculture, the two sides exchanged views on the plan to implement projects on rice cultivation in combination with fish and shrimp breeding and rubber tree plantations in Venezuela .

In terms of culture, they discussed the organisation of the second Venezuela cultural week in Vietnam .

In the field of information technology and communications, the two sides agreed to cooperate in software and information technology services, production of computers and electric and electronic components, IT human resource training and information security.

They also discussed maritime transport and house building.

The oil and gas working group considered the expansion of the area of Junin 2 project, as well as the project on expanding and upgrading Dung Quat oil refinery.

The two parties also exchanged views on cooperation in potential sectors, including telecommunications, small-scale hydropower plants and application of biogas in Venezuelan rural areas.-VNA