January 23, 2024
BUCHAREST — Romanian Prime Minister Ion-Marcel Ciolacu said his country aspires to be the ‘main partner’ of Việt Nam bringing Vietnamese goods and products into Europe with its uncontestable advantages, including the strategic position to access the entire European continent.
He made the remarks as the Romanian Government leader and his Vietnamese counterpart Phạm Minh Chính chaired a press conference in Bucharest announcing the outcomes of their official talks on Monday, as part of PM Chính’s ongoing visit to the southeastern European country.
The two leaders said the talks were successful, reaching consensus on orientations to promote cooperation in bilateral ties as well as exchanging views on regional and international issues of mutual concern.
Both parties agreed on the positive evaluation of the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between Việt Nam and Romania over nearly 75 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations (1950-2024). This relationship has been continuously cultivated by successive generations of leaders and peoples of both countries.
The Romanian PM said his country would be ready to facilitate infrastructure for collaboration with Vietnamese ports, promoting transport growth; and aim to double trade exchanges to EUR€1 billion in the coming years. He also expressed the intention to encourage major Romanian companies in gas and electricity to develop partnerships with Vietnamese companies.
He considered agriculture and the pharmaceutical industry as two strategic cooperation areas and suggested implementing pilot projects for investment in aquaculture, a field in which Việt Nam has considerable experience.
He also expressed gratitude to Việt Nam for its donation of 10,000 doses of African swine fever vaccine during this visit, expressing the desire for cooperation in technology transfer and investment in the production of this vaccine for the European market.
Regarding education, the Romanian PM affirmed the commitment to maintaining a significant number of Vietnamese students in Romanian universities under training programmes.
PM Chính shared his personal attachments to the country where he used to study, stressing that the visit aimed to enhance political trust, deepen traditional ties while expanding cooperation opportunities in new fields towards self-resilient development and happiness and opulence for both countries.
On behalf of the Party and the people of Việt Nam, PM Chính expressed gratitude for Romania’s precious support over the past nearly 75 years, standing by Việt Nam in difficult times.
Romania was the first EU member state to show a noble gesture of donating hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses and medical equipment to support Việt Nam in hard times.
Romania also played an active role in signing the EU-Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) on June 30, 2019 – the last day Romania held the rotating presidency of the European Council. It was also one of the first EU countries to approve the EU-Việt Nam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA).
PM Chính also thanked the Romanian Government and people for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community living in there, enabling them to integrate well into the local society and serving as a bridge for the friendly relations between the two countries.
The longstanding cooperation tradition, tested over nearly 75 years, was an important foundation and “both sides are at a favourable time and place to promote the relationship to a deeper, more substantial and effective level,” stressed the Vietnamese leader.
In terms of politics and diplomacy, both agreed to continue to enhance contacts and exchanges at all levels, especially at the high level, across all channels to strengthen political trust and mutual understanding, which will be the foundation for further cooperation in all fields.
Regarding economic-trade-investment, both parties need to further leverage bilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the Inter-Governmental Committee on Economic Cooperation between Việt Nam and Romania. They should continue to effectively implement the EVFTA and EVIPA agreements.
PM Chính proposed that Romania actively support the approval of EVIPA by the remaining EU member countries, and encourage the European Commission (EC) to promptly remove the ‘yellow card’ warning regarding Việt Nam’s seafood.
In education and training, a traditionally strong area of cooperation between the two countries, both leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in training and research between universities in the fields of hi-tech engineering, information technology, agriculture and healthcare and pharmaceuticals.
On this occasion, universities from both nations signed several cooperation agreements, laying the foundation for stronger educational collaboration.
PM Chính suggested that Romania continues to support scholarships for Vietnamese students, especially in the fields of culture and arts, particularly music.
Culture, sports and tourism are crucial areas of cooperation to enhance mutual understanding, solidarity, and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. The two nations on this occasion signed a Cultural Cooperation Programme for the period 2023-25 and agreed to continue coordinating cultural and artistic exchange activities to deepen the understanding of each other’s cultures, especially during the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations.
Việt Nam and Romania also concurred to enhance effective collaboration in various fields such as digital transformation, green transition, circular economy, labour and cooperation between localities.
Regarding multilateral cooperation, both countries would continue their close and effective coordination at the United Nations, Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEAM), and ASEAN-EU to jointly address regional and global challenges.
On regional and international issues, including the East Sea (known internationally as the South China Sea), Việt Nam and Romania saw eye to eye in supporting the resolution of disputes through peaceful means in accordance with international law, especially the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. They also backed the substantive and effective negotiation process of the Code of Conduct (COC) of Parties in the South China Sea between ASEAN and China. — VNS