25 years of Vietnam-Azerbaijan relations: Reunion between friends
(VNF) - Not too focused on diplomatic, academic topics as many might think, the workshop titled “25 years of Vietnam-Azerbaijan relations: Achievements and Future Prospects” held on September 13th, as Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said, was simply a meeting between friends.
At the meeting, the story was revolved not only economic subjects but also the memories of those who considered Azerbaijan to be their second homeland.
A street in Baku is named after Vung Tau province
Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said that he himself had visited the stilt house of President Ho Chi Minh a few days ago. In here, he was shown photographs of Uncle Ho's diplomatic activities in 1954. What made it especially remarkable was that photos of Uncle Ho's visit to Azerbaijan was kept in the first page of album. Deputy Minister Son said when he saw the photos, he was very moved. "The most precious thing is the affection and good feeling the two countries have for each other regardless of historical challenges,” said Son.
Delegates attend the workshop on September 13th in Hanoi. (Photo: Duc Hoang)
According to Ngo Duc Manh, Deputy Head of the National Assembly's Committee for External Relations, Vietnamese students studied in Azerbaijan had laid down the foundation of sincerely and friendly relations between the two countries.
At that time, Manh said, the top universities of Azerbaijan did not hesitate to open their door to receive Vietnamese students. Thousands of them were admitted to different schools and universities in Azerbaijan. Those days symbolized beginning of warm, sincerely and friendly relations between two nations that later on strengthened and were transformed into friendly and partnership cooperation in many areas.
"Azerbaijani teachers treats Vietnamese students like their own brothers and sisters. Time passes with many ups and downs, but I believe many people who once studied in Azerbaijan will forever carry in their heart cherished memories of these days".
He also recalled the interesting thing that not everyone knows that a street in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, is named after Vung Tau, while Vung Tau has a street named Bacu (Baku). That, of course, was not just coincidence. Two cities have established twin relations for more than 20 years.
As a Vietnamese once studied in Azerbaijanian, Nguyen Vu Khai, Chairman of the Vietnam - Azerbaijan Friendship Association, said that every year the Vietnamese students who graduated from different Azerbaijani universities still meet up to recall their beautiful memories of the country. These students now are specialists, diplomats or managers but, no matter where and what they do they still consider each other compatriots and Azerbaijan as second home.
More than 4,000 Vietnamese students have studied in Azerbaijan and many of them made great contributions to national defense and construction. Many also now occupy key positions in State and Governmental agencies and have played an important role in further cementing the traditional friendship and comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, he noted.
Believe in the future
The Chairman of the Vietnam - Azerbaijan Friendship Association believed that with the determination of two countries’ leaders and peoples, bilateral friendship and multifaceted cooperation will further propel forward to meet their aspirations.
Vietnam wants to make oil production a key area of industrial co-operation between the two countries. (Photo: PVN)
Permanent Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son stressed that Vietnam always gives priority to developing ties with traditional friends, with Azerbaijan among them.
Two-way trade recently saw encouraging improvement, hitting USD 114 million in the first half of 2017, doubling that recorded in same period last year. But he noted the level of cooperation in the economic sphere does not meet the big potential of two countries. There remains rooms for collaboration across energy, agriculture, education and tourism.
According to him, the two countries hold huge potential of working together in energy, agriculture, tourism and education, while the bilateral partnership in oil and gas should be made the spearhead of their economic cooperation.
Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, for his part, also proposed the necessary measures to improve the efficiency of their cooperation and materialise high-level agreements reached by the two countries.
He repeatedly suggested that the two countries should combine waterway-road transport, noting that two countries, will benefit from combining waterway-road transport Russia, India or some other countries, and consequently shorten the transport route from Vietnam to Azerbaijanian.
According to him, with the development of transport and logistics, the above mentioned initiative is possible, as he wished that it would contribute to bringing the bilateral relations to a new high.
Mammadyarov noted that there are vast opportunities for expanding economic and trade relations between Azerbaijan and Vietnam, and said that it is useful to conduct mutual business forums to identify such opportunities and explore new areas of cooperation.
Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov at the workshop on September 13th in Hanoi. (Photo: Duc Hoang)
Regarding the energy sector, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister mentioned export of products of Azerbaijani companies manufacturing oil equipment to the Vietnamese market, noting that mutually beneficial cooperation should being expanded in this field.
Regarding the field of information technology, Mammadyarov said recently Azerbaijan built a "Technopark" and hoped that Vietnamese businesses can cooperate to develop projects here.
He said there is great potential for bilateral cooperation and suggested that the two countries should expand economic and trade ties. "The world is turbulent and unpredictable, cooperation is more important than ever," he said./.
Translated by Minh Chau