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Czech Republic very important partner of Việt Nam: NA Chairman

VIETNAM, May 23 - HÀ NỘI — National Assembly Chairman Vương Đình Huệ on Tuesday affirmed that the Czech Republic is a very important partner of Việt Nam in Central-Eastern Europe, during his reception for Deputy Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech parliament Jan Bartosek in Hà Nội on Tuesday.

Huệ hailed the outcomes of the talks between Bartosek and NA Vice Chairman Nguyễn Đức Hải, which took place earlier the same day, and stressed that the Czech legislator’s Việt Nam visit contributes to boosting cooperation between the two countries in general and their legislative bodies in particular.

Việt Nam always attached importance to developing relations with traditional friends in Central-Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic, he said, noting that the bilateral political and diplomatic ties had been developing fruitfully, and agencies of the two governments and legislatures had maintained all-level delegation exchanges.

Huệ used the occasion to thank the Czech Republic and other traditional friends for their support for Việt Nam during its past struggle for national liberation, as well as the present cause of national construction and development, highlighting that thousands of Vietnamese officials, engineers and workers had studied and worked in the Czech Republic, and many of them were holding important positions in the State apparatus, and the socio-economic life in Việt Nam.

Speaking highly of the Czech Republic’s recognition of the Vietnamese community as an ethnic minority group in the country, Huệ said the recognition would contribute to enhancing the bilateral relations.

For his part, Bartosek emphasised that the traditional friendship and cooperation between the two countries have yielded fruits.

Recalling the official visit to Việt Nam by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala last April, the legislator said all-level delegation exchanges demonstrated the attention and efforts of the two countries’ leaders in elevating the bilateral diplomatic ties.

Bartosek expressed his hope that the two countries would open direct flights in order to forge their tourism cooperation and promote their trade ties in a more balanced fashion.

Host and guest shared the view that tourism would be a promising cooperation area if the two countries launch direct flights. This would also help enhance cooperation in trade, investment and people-to-people exchange.

Last year, two-way trade reached US$848 million, up 15 per cent from 2021, which, however, had yet to match their potential and desires, Huệ said, stressing that the two economies were reciprocal.

Việt Nam wanted to export many products to the EU, including the Czech Republic, on the basis of the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement, and vice versa, Việt Nam would facilitate Czech goods' access to its market, he continued.

Regarding the legislative ties, the NA Chairman suggested the two sides continue pushing ahead with delegation exchanges, and consider the signing of a new cooperation agreement between the Vietnamese legislature and the Czech Chamber of Deputies to replace the one signed in 2009.

Bartosek affirmed that the Vietnamese community formed an integral part of the Czech society, and had helped build a friendship bridge between the two countries.

The official expressed his hope for stronger collaboration in education and training, promising that the Czech Republic would grant scholarships to Vietnamese post graduate students.

Huệ suggested the Czech Republic urge other EU countries to soon ratify the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement, and the European Commission (EC) to soon remove its “yellow card” warning against Vietnamese seafood.

The two sides also exchanged views on some regional and international issues of shared concern.

Regarding the South China Sea (known in Việt Nam as the East Sea) issue, Bartosek affirmed his support for the settlement of disputes by peaceful measures, and in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1982 UNCLOS).

Huệ asked Bartosek to convey his regards and invitations to the speakers of the lower house and upper house of the Czech parliament to pay official visits to Việt Nam. He also invited a delegation from the Czech parliament to attend the ninth Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Forum of Young Parliamentarians slated for September 15-17 in Hà Nội.

Bartosek and his entourage then attended a plenary session of the Vietnamese NA. — VNS