Vietnam will work alongside Portugal to raise their two-way trade turnover to US$1 billion in the coming time, Vice Chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam Tran Thanh Man told Portuguese officials during their meetings on November 13 as part of his ongoing working trip to the European nation.
Meeting with Francisco Andre, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Man affirmed that Vietnam always prioritizes strengthening its partnership and comprehensive cooperation with the European Union as well as with member countries, including Portugal.
He thanked Portugal for ratifying the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) in April 2023 and asked it to lobby other EU member countries to do the same. He also proposed that Portugal support and encourage the European Commission to soon remove the illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing warnings against Vietnamese seafood.
Both host and guest shared the view that the two countries should further promote cooperation in the fields of culture, education, marine economy, maritime, renewable energy, tourism, information technology, and labour.
Andre highly appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in combating illegal fishing and expressed hope the EU would have positive assessments to soon remove the warnings in the near future.
During a working session with Filipe Costa, president of the Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal (AICEP), Man pointed out that investment cooperation between Vietnam and Portugal remains modest, with Portugal ranking 125th out of 141 foreign investors in Vietnam.
Both countries should seize opportunities from the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to boost investment and trade cooperation, aiming to raise two-way trade turnover to US$1 billion in the coming time, he suggested.
He also assured that Vietnam is ready to act as a bridge between Portuguese businesses and the Southeast Asian market.
At another meeting with lawmakers of the Portuguese Communist Party in the Portuguese parliament, Man said Vietnam always attaches importance to consolidating and developing friendly and cooperative relations with countries and traditional parties, including the Portuguese Communist Party.
According to the Vietnamese legislator, there are 10 EU member countries left (Belgium, Germany, Ireland, France, Cyprus, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, and Slovakia) that have yet to ratify the EVIPA. He expected that the lawmakers would have their voice in support of Vietnam in this issue.
The lawmakers of the Portuguese Communist Party said they would work hard to garner support from other parties to promote the ratification of the investment deal. They affirmed their desire to develop relations with socialist countries, including Vietnam, and stay ready to work towards achieving the set goals.
On this occasion, Man extended the invitation of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong to General Secretary of the Portuguese Communist Party Paulo Raimundo to visit Vietnam in 2024.
The same day, National Assembly Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man also met with Ricardo Valente, Porto’s City Councilor for Finance, Economy, and Employment, stressing that local cooperation between the two countries plays a very important role in contributing to promoting Vietnam – Portugal relations.
Man appreciated Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Porto (Portugal) signing a memorandum of understanding on cooperation orientations for 2023-2025, saying both cities have many strengths to cooperate in the fields of cultural exchanges, tourism promotion, economic and trade exchanges, urban renovation and heritage preservation.
He proposed that the City Council of Porto create more favourable conditions for Vietnamese residents to well integrate into their local community, contributing to the development of the two countries.
National Assembly Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man also called at EDP, a Portuguese electric utilities company headquartered in Lisbon, that has undertaken three solar power projects in Vietnam.
Source: CCIPV / AICEP + VOV