|Vietnamese Ambassador to Egypt Nguyen Huy Dung (Photo: VNA)
According to the local diplomat, Egypt was the first country in the Africa-Middle East region to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam in 1963. Late Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh set the foundation for the ties as he visited the North African nation three times between 1911 and 1946, with the Vietnamese Trade Office in Egypt being established in 1958.
The Vietnamese diplomat emphasised that the bilateral relationship has been increasingly consolidated and developed to reach new heights, with high-level visits made by their leaders in 2017 and 2018 witnessing the signing of a myriad of co-operation pacts.
The Vietnamese and Egyptian foreign ministries hold regular political consultations in order to share consistent views on regional and international issues, whilst closely co-operate within the framework of international organisations for the common good. Most recently, the two countries have supported each other at the UN Human Rights Council. In addition, the Government of Egypt and ASEAN, of which Vietnam is a member, have signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).
Ambassador Dung said Egypt is one of the country’s most important trade partners and represents a market with huge potential in North Africa, with the two countries eyeing US$1 billion in two-way trade turnover in the time to come.
The country’s major export items to the Egyptian market include computers, electronic goods, components, metals, fibers, spare parts, means of transport, peppercorns, coffee, and vegetables. Meanwhile, the nation imports vegetables, plastic materials, fertilisers, and textile materials, among others from Egypt.
He went on to note that there is plenty of room for both sides to boost collaboration across a variety fields, particularly trade, culture, tourism, education, and people-to-people exchanges.
Locality-to-locality co-operation has also been promoted over recent years, said the diplomat. Vietnam's Ninh Binh and Egypt's Luxor have signed a collaboration and friendship agreement, while their respective capitals Hanoi and Cairo are in the process of finalising an agreement to sign in the near future.
The interview took place as part of a 45-minute programme that introduced Vietnamese cultural features, both nations’ strengths and potential for co-operation in politics, diplomacy, economics, commerce, culture, education, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges./.