Friday , May 24 2024

Vietnamese NA leader hopes Bulgaria will support EVIPA ratification

 

National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ (right) welcomes his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Dimitrov Jeliazkov on Monday. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — National Assembly Chairman (NA) Vương Đình Huệ hoped that Bulgaria will encourage other EU parliaments to soon ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) during his talks with Speaker of Bulgarian NA Rosen Dimitrov Jeliazkov on Monday.

The talks were followed by an official welcome ceremony in Hà Nội.

Expressing his joy to lead the high-ranking Bulgarian NA delegation on an official visit to Việt Nam on the first days of the New Year, Speaker Jeliazkov emphasised that the visit continues to affirm Bulgaria’s desire to strengthen the traditional friendship with Việt Nam, which is Bulgaria’s most important partner in Asia.

Promoting cooperation between the two countries holds an important meaning, he said, hoping that the bilateral relations will further develop in the spirit of the Việt Nam – Bulgaria Joint Declaration signed in 2013.

Despite global challenges, the two countries achieved a trade turnover of more than US$200 million in 2023, they said, adding that in 2024, the two sides are expected to hold the meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on Economic, Trade and Scientific Cooperation to open up new areas of cooperation and creating favourable markets for each other’s goods, following the Việt Nam – EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Chairman Huệ told the Bulgarian guest that Việt Nam has made efforts to implement the recommendations of the European Commission (EC) on sustainable fish development, asking Bulgaria to call on the EU to consider removing the IUU “yellow card” for Vietnamese fishery products.

Huệ spoke highly of the Bulgarian NA for ratifying the EVIPA in September 2023, saying that the agreement will help Bulgarian businesses access the Vietnamese market of more than 100 million people and reach out to the ASEAN market – a region with more than 650 million people.

He thanked Bulgaria for helping train tens of thousands of Vietnamese officials, students, and graduate students, including many senior Vietnamese leaders.

The two sides need to research a new educational cooperation program to attract students from the two countries to study at each country’s schools and training facilities, he said.

He hoped that the two countries would soon hold a meeting of the science and technology cooperation committee to promote partnership in fields where Bulgaria has strengths such as information technology, artificial intelligence (AI), high technology, digital transformation and green transformation.

The Vietnamese leader also proposed the two countries intensify cooperation in culture, sports, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

Speaker of Bulgarian NA Rosen Dimitrov Jeliazkov agreed with Huệ’s proposal that the two countries soon sign a Government-level agreement to create favourable conditions for businesses to carry out labour cooperation projects in Bulgaria in medicine, construction, garments and agriculture in the context that Bulgaria is now experiencing a labour shortage.

The two sides will continue to effectively implement the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding on defence cooperation, including sharing experience on UN peacekeeping operations and supporting Việt Nam in overcoming the consequences of mines and bombs.

Huệ highly appreciated the newly-established Bulgarian Parliamentary Friendship Group with the Vietnamese NA which acts as a bridge to promote cooperation between the two NAs.

Both leaders agreed that NA cooperation is key to the two countries’ partnership. The NA friendship associations will create conditions for the NAs to monitor the implementation of bilateral plans and agreements.

The leaders vowed to maintain exchanges of NA high-level delegations, step up coordination and share experience in building and perfecting the legal system.

The Chairman of the Bulgarian NA believed that his visit would create a good premise for the coming years so that both sides can be proud of what has been achieved on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of establishing relations in 2025.

He said the political consultation between the two foreign ministers scheduled to be held in Hà Nội and the 24th session of the Intergovernmental Committee meeting to be held in the capital Sofia are events that contribute to strengthening bilateral relations, especially the trade exchange of value-added products and potential areas of cooperation such as high-tech agriculture, pharmaceuticals, information technology, innovation, tourism.

He said the strategic agreements signed between Việt Nam and the EU, of which Bulgaria is a member, including EVIPA and EVFTA, will contribute to further expanding the Việt Nam-Bulgaria cooperation. Bulgaria wants to strengthen cooperation to improve the quality of education, culture and gender equality. The two sides can exchange lecturers to teach at the universities.

At the talks, the two leaders discussed regional and international situations.

Huệ said Việt Nam highly appreciates the EU’s common stance on the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea).

He requested Bulgaria support the stance of ASEAN and Việt Nam on the East Sea in accordance with international laws and UNCLOS 1982; ensuring security, safety, freedom of navigation and aviation, maintaining peace, stability and development cooperation in the region and the world.

The leaders welcomed the two countries’ mutual support for each other at the Human Rights Council, the UN Economic and Social Council and the UN Security Council.

The two sides pledged to promote cooperation at the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) for peace, stability and sustainable development. As the ASEAN Group Coordinator in ASEM (2023 – 2024), Việt Nam will coordinate with Bulgaria and its members to resume ASEM activities in the near future.

After the talks, the two NA leaders witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements between leaders of Việt Nam’s Lai Châu City and Bulgaria’s Kazanlak City. — VNS

 

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