Hanoi (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc hosted a reception in Hanoi on November 14 for Nurlan Nigmatulin, Chairman of the Mazhilis (lower house) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan – one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) that shares a free trade agreement with Vietnam.
Expressing his delight at the growing traditional friendship between the two countries, the Vietnamese leader said he believes that the visit of Nurlan Nigmatulin will open up a new chapter in bilateral relations.
He congratulated Kazakhstan for great achievements that the country has made in all fields, raising the country's position in the world arena and bringing it closer to the goal of becoming one of the world's top 30 most developed countries in 2050.
For his part, Nurlan Nigmatulin affirmed that Vietnam is an important partner of Kazakhstan in Southeast Asia.
He told his host that his talks with Vietnamese National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan were successful, during which the two sides agreed to boost partnership between the two countries.
Highlighting the significance of the EAEU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, he said that Vietnam went down in history as the first country to sign an FTA with the union. After Vietnam, the union has signed FTAs with many other countries and is negotiating with 40 others on similar deals, he noted.
Asserting that Vietnam and Kazakhstan boast high potential of cooperation, especially in agriculture, light industry, transport, logistics and tourism, he said he hopes that more Vietnamese firms will seek business opportunities in Kazakhstan.
PM Phuc said that Vietnam hopes Kazakhstan will actively support the maintaining of peace, stability and development as well as the settlement of disputes through peaceful measures, diplomatic negotiations with respect for international law.
The PM held that the enforcement of the 2016 Vietnam-EAEU FTA has brought about positive progress in trade and investment collaboration between Vietnam and Kazakhstan.
Two-way trade has risen from 200 million USD in 2017 to 268 million USD in 2018, and expectedly a higher figure in 2019, he noted.
The Vietnamese Government leader suggested that the two sides review the implementation of the FTA to withdraw lessons and seek effective measures to continue realizing the deal effectively.
Alongside, both sides should promote the outcomes of the ninth meeting of the Vietnam-Kazakhstan Inter-Government Committee held recently in Nur-Sultan, he added.
He stressed the need to continue increasing the exchange among businesses of both side and the organization of trade fairs, exhibitions and business forums in both countries, thus bolstering cooperation in investment and potential areas such as agriculture, education-training, science-technology, culture-sport, and tourism.
Noting that aviation sector of Vietnam is growing strongly, the PM welcomed the opening of a new air route between the two countries.
The Kazakh legislator said that the Parliament of Kazakhstan will prioritise and support the trade connection between the two countries, especially through the railway system from Vietnam to Kazakhstan and Europe via China, while giving favourable conditions for businesses of both sides to exploit the EAEU-Vietnam FTA.
Kazakhstan will continue coordinating closely with Vietnam at international forums in 2020 when Vietnam works as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in the 2020-2021 tenure and ASEAN Chair, he stated./.
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