Following the welcome ceremony in his honour in Prague on April 17, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc later the same day held talks with his host Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis.
An overview of the talks
At the talks, the two PMs expressed their joy at the fine development of the relations of traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation over the past nearly 70 years since the establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations in 1950. The host affirmed importance of relations with Vietnam and described his guest’s ongoing visit as an important landmark in the bilateral relations.
A close friend of Vietnam and an active member of the European Union (EU), the Czech Republic supports the intensification of the Vietnam-EU relations and will push for the early completion of EU procedures so that the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement can be signed within one or two months to come, PM Andrej Babis stressed.
For his part, PM Phuc stressed that the Vietnamese people always bear in their mind the valuable help and effective cooperation from the Czech Republic to Vietnam in their national defence, construction and development.
The two PMs agreed to strengthen the exchange of delegations between sectors and localities of the two countries. They also concurred to closely coordinate their work to organise activities marking the 70th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties.
The two held that the economic cooperation, trade and investment between the countries are developing in a dynamic way but have yet to match their potential and expectation. They agreed to continue to effectively implement the mechanism of the Vietnam – Czech inter-governmental committee on economic cooperation and push up cooperation in the fields of security, national defence, technology, mining, and tourism.
The host expressed his joy and belief that the early opening of the Hanoi – Prague direct air route will help further push up the bilateral relations in trade, investment and tourism, and spoke highly of the role and contributions by the Vietnamese community to the socio-economic development of the Czech Republic.
Host and guest also exchanged ideas on international and regional issues of mutual concern, and pledged to further bilateral cooperation at international forums and organisations. The Czech Republic PM affirmed that his country supports Vietnam’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 term.
The two also stressed the importance of the maintenance of peace and stability, the promotion of security, navigation and aviation safety and freedom in the East Sea, and the settlement of disputes with peaceful means in line with the international law, especially the UN Charter and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
PM Phuc invited the Czech PM to visit Vietnam, and the invitation was accepted.
Following the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in mining between authorities of the two sides, and held a joint press conference.
Vietnamese, Czech PMs seek ways to boost bilateral partnership
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) and his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis at the press conference
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his Czech counterpart Andrej Babis have agreed to collaborate to speed up the launching of a direct air route linking Hanoi and Prague.
Meeting with the media after their talks in Prague on April 17, the two PMs said that they sought a number of measures to boost bilateral ties in many areas, especially education-training, agriculture, science-technology, the environment, and culture-tourism.
PM Babis expressed his delight at meeting the Vietnamese PM once again after their talks in February 2008.
He stressed that the Czech Republic and Vietnam have shared a close partnership over nearly seven decades with regular delegation exchanges. The Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic has also made positive contributions to the socio-economic development in the host country, he noted.
Vietnam is the third largest partner of the Czech Republic among ASEAN member countries, he said, adding that the two sides have seen sound development in collaboration in trade, investment, and many other areas. The Czech Republic’s exports to Vietnam have grown 30 percent in recent years, while Czech businesses hope to increase the exporting of goods to Vietnam, said the PM.
PM Babis revealed that at the talks the two PMs discussed various promising cooperation areas, such as mining, tourism, aviation, and culture-education, as well as issues regarding visas.
The Czech Republic supports the EU’s signing of the free trade agreement with Vietnam (EVFTA) he stated.
For his part, PM Phuc thanked the Czech PM and people for their warm welcome.
He affirmed that his talks with his Czech counterpart were productive, during which both sides agreed on a number of solutions to improve the efficiency of bilateral cooperation in the future.
He clarified that Vietnam highly values the Czech Republic’s support to the early signing and ratification of the EVFTA and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA). The deals are of strategic significance for economic-trade cooperation between the EU and Vietnam, helping businesses from the EU and the Czech Republic access the over 90-million-strong market and creating favourable conditions for collaboration in services, finance, telecommunications, and public procurement.
The EVFTA will help enhance the position and role of the EU in Asia, he said, pledging that Vietnam will be a gateway for Czech enterprises to approach the ASEAN and East Asia markets.
PM Phuc thanked the Government of the Czech Republic for backing the country’s Vietnamese community to live, study, and integrate into the local society, expressing his belief that the community will continue helping to foster friendship and affiliation between the two countries.
Vietnam treasures relations with Czech Republic: PM
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (L) meets Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic Radek Vondracek
Vietnam always treasures its relations with the Czech Republic and appreciates contributions by the country’s Chamber of Deputies to the development of the bilateral ties, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed when meeting Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Radek Vondracek in Prague on April 17.
Phuc asked the Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic to maintain efforts to help boost the European Union’s signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
He suggested both sides step up the exchange of experience in legislative affairs, strengthen cooperation between the Vietnam-Czech Republic, and Czech Republic-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentarians’ Groups, and bolster collaboration in education-training, science-technology, environment, agriculture, labour and between their localities.
The Vietnamese Government leader requested the lower house to continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community in the country.
He also forwarded NA Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan’s invitation to visit Vietnam on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties in 2020 to Radek Vondracek.
The host spoke highly of PM Phuc’s visit, saying that it demonstrates an important development step in bilateral relations.
He affirmed the Chamber of Deputies attaches importance to Czech Republic-Vietnam traditional friendship, and totally supports the early signing and ratification of the EVFTA and the EVIPA.
He voiced his belief that the early opening of a direct air route connecting Prague and Hanoi will contribute to fostering bilateral cooperation in trade, investment and tourism.
He also affirmed to continue facilitating the lives of over 65,000 Vietnamese people in his country, and said he will arrange to visit Vietnam at his convenience.