Vietnam bolsters traditional friendship with Latvia
Hanoi, June 13 (VNA) – Vietnam always attaches importance to bolstering the traditional friendship and multi-dimensional cooperation with friends in the Baltic region, including Latvia, said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. He made the statement at his reception in Hanoi on June 12 for State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Andrejs Pildegovics who is in Vietnam for the foreign deputy ministerial-level political consultation. Minh said he was glad to see developments in bilateral ties with Latvia, especially the official visit to the country by Vice State President Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh in October 2017, and hailed the two countries’ effective coordination at multilateral forums. He lauded positive developments in bilateral economic-trade cooperation while welcoming the countries’ agreement to soon negotiating the signing of important cooperation documents like those on economics, education, visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders, and mutual legal support, in an effort to perfect a legal foundation to facilitate their cooperation across various realms. Andrejs Pildegovics affirmed that Latvia prioritizes boosting the traditional friendship with Vietnam. He also confirmed his country’s commitment to supporting Vietnam to step up its cooperation with the European Union, including the early signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), and working closely with Vietnam in regional and international forums. Earlier on the day, Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son and State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Latvia Andrejs Pildegovics conducted the political consultation under an agreement between the two foreign ministries. Vietnam is the biggest trade partner of Latvia in Southeast Asia, while Latvia is the biggest trade partner of Vietnam in the Baltic region. Their two-way trade turnover hit 166 million USD in 2017, ten times higher than that of 2010./.