Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit to the Czech Republic from April 16-18 is expected to help deepen the two countries’ friendship and lift bilateral ties to a new height.
The visit will also offer a chance for both sides to discuss measures to boost cooperation in economics, trade, investment, education-training and labour export, as well as regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Vietnam and the Czech Republic established diplomatic ties in February 1950 and have since then implemented policies to develop cooperation in various fields.
Vietnam attaches importance to its ties with its traditional friends in Central and Eastern Europe, in which the Czech Republic is a prioritised partner.
The two sides have conducted regular delegation exchanges in recent years, including the visits to the Czech Republic by President Truong Tan Sang in 2015 and National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan in 2017, and the Vietnam visits by President of the Senate Milan Stech in 2015 and President Milos Zeman in 2017.
Bilateral economic, trade, and investment relations have been reinforced over the past few years.
However, bilateral trade has yet to meet potential, reaching only 307 million USD last year. Also last year, Vietnam ranked 36th among more than 200 trade partners of the Czech Republic.
Vietnam exports footwear, garments, seafood, consumer goods, computers and parts, mobile phones and some types of equipment and machinery parts to the Czech Republic, while buying machinery and parts, electronic components, chemicals, medicine, garment accessories, glass and crystal goods and milk and dairy products.
The Czech now ranks 42nd of 101 nations and territories investing in Vietnam, with 38 projects worth a total 90 million USD.
In 2012, the Czech Republic listed Vietnam among its 12 key markets in foreign trade during 2012-2020, the only ASEAN country on the list.
The Czech Republic was the first Eastern European country to provide official development assistance (ODA) for Vietnam. From 2013, it did not include Vietnam in the list of ODA recipients due to economic development in the Southeast Asian nation.
To date, the two countries have signed agreements on double taxation avoidance, economic cooperation, investment protection and encouragement, crime prevention and control, and the transfer of convicts.
More than 65,000 Vietnamese are living in the Czech Republic. In 2013, the Czech government recognised Vietnamese-Czech people as the country’s 14th ethnic group.-VNA