Việtnam and Liberia have affirmed their determination to double or triple bilateral trade, currently at US$35.3 million annually.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh and Liberian Foreign Minister Marjon Vashti Kamara set the target during talks in Hà Nội on Friday.
At the talks, Minh asserted that Việt Nam views its efforts to establish friendship and cooperation with Liberia, a promising partner in West Africa, as important. .
The two officials agreed on concrete measures to effectively advance bilateral ties.
The Liberian official expressed his hope that Việt Nam will help his country in agriculture, mining, infrastructure-building and telecommunications. He said he welcomes Vietnamese businesses to Liberia for market research to establish trade and investment relations.
The two sides agreed to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese and Liberian enterprises to promote trade and attend fairs and exhibitions in each country.
They discussed measures to step up collaboration in agriculture, oil and gas, telecommunications and defence-security. They agreed to soon sign the framework agreement on cooperation between the two Governments, the bilateral trade agreement, the agreement on investment encouragement and protection and the protocol on cooperation between the two foreign ministries, creating a strong legal corridor for bilateral cooperation.
In terms of politics, the two sides emphasised the need to increase the exchange of all-level delegations via the channels of Party, State, National Assembly, ministries and localities while facilitating people-to-people exchange to further solidarity and mutual understanding. They also pledged to continue coordination at multilateral forums.
Deputy PM and FM Phạm Bình Minh expressed his wish to welcome the President of Liberia to Hà Nội next year. He suggested the West African country support Việt Nam’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure and recognise Vietnam as a full market economy.
Regarding regional and international issues of mutual concern, the Vietnamese official affirmed that the principle stance of Việt Nam and ASEAN is to solve disputes, including those in the East Sea, through peaceful means, including full respect for diplomatic and legal processes on the basis of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and objections to the use of force or threat to use force.
Minh suggested Liberia back the principal stance of Việt Nam and ASEAN. He stressed the need for the full and serious implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) in order to conclude talks to establish a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).
Following the talks, Deputy PM and FM Phạm Bình Minh and Liberian FM Marjon Vashti Kamara witnessed the signing of the agreement on a visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, the first such agreement between the two countries.
Prime Minister meeting
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked Liberian Foreign Minister Marjon Vashti Kamara to push for the provision of favourable conditions for Vietnamese investment in Liberia as he received the minister in the capital city of Hà Nội yesterday.
Welcoming the minister’s working visit to Việt Nam, PM Phúc said he believed that after this trip, the two countries would make new strides in their relations with the implementation of concrete projects to meet the aspiration of the two countries’ leaders and people.
He asked the two sides, which boast sound bilateral relations, to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels. As cooperation potential remains high, especially in trade and investment, Việt Nam and Liberia should take measures to enhance cooperation in all aspects.
The PM urged efforts to strongly boost bilateral trade, which stands at just US$35.3 million, and create optimal conditions for each other’s businesses to promote trade, exchange delegations, and participate in fairs and exhibitions held in their countries.
Phúc also asked Liberia to support Việt Nam’s candidacy for non-permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 and to recognise the full market economy status of Việt Nam.
Meanwhile, the two foreign ministries would need to keep close coordination to step up bilateral cooperation activities in all spheres, he added.
At the meeting, Minister Kamara expressed her admiration for Việt Nam’s struggle for national independence and development efforts. Informing her host about the outcomes of the talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh, she said the two sides agreed on many concrete measures to reinforce cooperation and maximise their countries’ advantages.
They also signed an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders of Việt Nam and Liberia, which will strengthen connections between the two Governments and peoples.
The minister also voiced her hope that her visit would give a boost to the two countries’ friendship and cooperation in the future.