Vietnamese Vice State President Vo Thi Anh Xuan on Baricada.org (Photo: Baricada)
According to the website, this is the first foreign visit of the Vice President of Vietnam since she was elected to this position in April 2021. On October 25, the Vietnamese Vice State President had a working session at the Vietnamese Embassy in Sofia with representatives of the Bulgaria-Vietnam Friendship Association. Her official meeting with the Vice President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Ms. Iliana Yotova, took place on October 26.
Answering the website reporter’s question, she said that she chose Bulgaria as the first country to visit officially in the new term to affirm Vietnam's importance and desire in further developing the good traditional friendship between the two countries.
“Within the framework of the visit, I will join Vice President Iliana Lotova and Bulgarian leaders to discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of cooperation activities over the past time, including reviewing the implementation of high-level agreements, cooperation in the prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic, and exchange of specific directions and measures to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries in all aspects from politics to economy - trade, investment, education, culture, local cooperation and other fields,” she said.
According to the Vietnamese Vice State President, Bulgaria is one of the first 10 countries in the world to recognize and establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam. Over the past 70 years, the relationship between the two countries has been constantly developing. The State and people of Vietnam highly appreciate and always remember the valuable support and assistance, both spiritual and material, that the Bulgarian people have given Vietnam in the struggle for national liberation and development.
Over the past time, the two countries have had favorable conditions to enhance high-level political contacts and exchange delegations between the ministries and branches of the two sides, creating a driving force for bilateral cooperation in the new period.
Noting that the cooperation in economic - trade and in a number of other fields is still modest and not commensurate with the relationship, potential or desire of both sides, she asserted that the two countries should take advantage of the Europe – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to boost goods export, service and investment. “In fact, the bilateral trade turnover saw strong growth in the 8 first months of this year, at USD124 million, an increase of over 55% compared to the same period last year,” she said.
Vietnam wants Bulgaria to become a gateway for Vietnamese goods to penetrate Central Eastern Europe in particular and the EU in general, and in the opposite direction, Vietnam will be a bridge for Bulgaria to promote economic, trade and investment relations with Southeast Asian countries and ASEAN, according to the Vice State President.
Science, education - training and health care are fields with great potential and room for cooperation between the two countries. Particularly, education and training is a traditional field of cooperation between the two countries.
In previous years, Bulgaria has trained tens of thousands of officials, experts and skilled workers for Vietnam. This is an extremely valuable asset in the relationship between the two countries, as well as a bridge to promote cooperation in the above fields.
The two sides need to discuss and propose specific cooperation programs suitable to each country's resources, market needs and development level; strengthen meetings and consultations among ministries, sectors and businesses, especially within the framework of the Intergovernmental Committee on Vietnam-Bulgaria economic and trade cooperation to review the implementation of high-level agreements, remove difficulties and obstacles, thereby more comprehensively and effectively promoting the implementation of cooperation in all fields.
In the interview, she also appreciated the active contribution of the Bulgaria – Vietnam Friendship Association in consolidating and deepening the friendship between the two peoples./.