|Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and Greek Deputy Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikkrammenos (Photo: VNA)
The visits illustrated Vietnam’s friendly relationship and cooperation with Bulgaria, Greece, and Portugal and its contributions to multilateral forums.
Respecting traditional friendships
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan’s first visit to Bulgaria since she took office shows her personal high regard for Bulgaria and the aspiration of the Vietnamese State and Government to boost its 70-year friendship Bulgaria. Meetings with Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev and Vice President Iliana Iotova reviewed the implementation of high-level agreements and cooperation in fighting COVID-19 and discussed ways to expand bilateral cooperation in all fields.
Greece, a country which has always supported Vietnam’s struggles for national independence and its ongoing development, gave Vietnam 250,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Vice President Xuan thanked Greece for its help, saying it illustrated a fine relationship between the two countries and people.
Vice President Xuan visited the family of the late Greek hero of the Vietnam People’s Armed Forces Kostas Sarantidis whose Vietnamese name was Nguyen Van Lap.
Strengthening investment cooperation
Vietnam and its European friends agreed to boost cooperation in economics, trade, investment, and maritime economy. Vietnam urged Bulgaria and Portugal to quickly finalize the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and offer favorable conditions for bilateral trade and investment, which will strengthen Vietnam’s relations with Bulgaria, Portugal, and the EU.
Vietnam is delighted with the cooperative results achieved with Greece, including bilateral trade revenue of 337 million USD in 2020, which was twice the figure in 2015. Vice President Xuan urged Greece to provide more incentives for Vietnamese agricultural products like coffee and tropical fruits to enter its market. Vietnam is earger to import Greek staples such as dairy products and fruits, she said.
The Vietnamese and Portuguese’s leaders agreed that bilateral trade revenue should grow from 470 million USD in 2020 to 1 billion USD in the near future.
Vice President Xuan asked Greece to sign the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement and the Maritime Transportation Agreement, give technical assistance to Vietnam’s fishing industry.
Ms. Xuan called on Portuguese businesses to boost trade and investment in Vietnam’s maritime economy, renewable energy, and tourism, and said Vietnam will be a bridge for Portuguese businesses to access Southeast Asian and Asia-Pacific markets.
|Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan meets Bulgarian President Rumen Radev. (Photo: VNA)
Contributing to multilateral forums
The highlight of Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan's European tour was attending the Global Summit of Women in Portugal, a prestigious forum on gender equality bringing together female politicians, entrepreneurs, and experts to promote gender equality and women's empowerment and encourage female leadership and contributions to socio-economic development.
The Vietnamese Vice President recommended establishing a fund or annual award to honor excellent initiatives on gender diversification in business management, female leaders of SMEs with outstanding contributions to society, pandemic prevention, or environmental protection, and promote networks of businesswomen helping each other and spreading good values in the community.
Vice President Xuan’s visits to Bulgaria, Portugal, and Greece showed that because of complementary advantages, relations between Vietnam and these countries have a huge potential to develop. The visits also demonstrated Vietnam's consistent contributions to multilateral diplomatic forums.