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Visiting Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, made the statement during talks with Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh in Hanoi on March 22.
The Czech FM expressed wish to further promote his country’s trade and investment ties with Vietnam and pledged his support for Vietnam in cementing its comprehensive cooperation with the European Union (EU), including the early signing of Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) and urging the EU to recognise Vietnam as a market economy and starting negotiations for the Vietnam-EU free trade agreement (FTA).
Schwarzenberg highlighted the contributions by the Vietnamese community in his country and affirmed that the Czech Republic will help Vietnamese expatriates to settle and do business in the country.
Minh describes Schwarzenberg’s visit as an important milestone in consolidating and promoting the traditional friendship and all-round cooperation with the Czech Republic, especially economic and trade ties.
Vietnam is ready to create favourable conditions for Czech businesses to invest in the country, said Minh, adding that it always supports the relationship between Czech Republic and ASEAN, Southeast Asian and Asian nations.
Both FMs agreed to raise cooperation efficiency, particularly activities of the Inter-Governmental Economic Cooperation Committee. They agreed that the third session of the committee, slated for June in Prague, will focus on solutions to remove difficulties to speed up the implementation of agreements signed between the two countries, the disbursement of ODA capital and acceleration of the implementation of a number of key cement production and infrastructure projects in Vietnam.
The two diplomats also discussed international and regional issues of mutual concern. After the talks, Minh and Schwarzenberg signed a protocol on the amendment to the Vietnam-Czech Republic aviation transport agreement.
The same day, a Vietnam-Czech Republic business forum was held within the framework of Deputy PM and FM Karel Schwarzenberg’s visit to Vietnam.
Addressing the event, the Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Doan Duy Khuong emphasised the importance of the forum for the two countries’ future economic and trade ties. He said two-way trade between Vietnam and the Czech Republic rose from more than $200 million in 2010 to almost $220 million last year. He said he hopes former Vietnamese students in the Czech Republic will help promote the two countries’ economic and trade ties.
For his part, Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Tomas Dub said Czech businesses will discuss cooperation with Vietnamese partners in services, investment, science and technology transfer and other fields.