Vietnam Fosters Cooperation with Southern Common Market
|NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (middle) and other delegates in a group photo. Source: VNA|
National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with Gustavo Penadés, President of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) Parliament (PARLASUR), and PARLASUR's vice presidents - Celso Russomanno, Tomas Bittar and Cecilia Britto, in Montevideo, Uruguay on April 27 (Uruguay time), VNA reported Friday.
During the talks, Gustavo Penadés said he was impressed by Vietnam’s dynamic development, emphasizing that PARLASUR wishes to strengthen cooperation with the National Assembly of Vietnam because of the Southeast Asian nation’s important strategic role in the region and the world.
He expressed the hope that after the visit, the relations between Vietnam and MERCOSUR, which groups Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay, will be strongly promoted in a more effective and practical manner, bringing benefits to the people of Vietnam and MERCOSUR members nations.
For his part, NA Chairman Hue thanked Gustavo Penadés for organizing a meeting between the Vietnamese delegation and leaders of PARLASUR during his trip to Uruguay.
Vietnam values the role and importance of MERCOSUR in promoting integration and economic, trade, and investment cooperation, he stated, noting that this is an important factor contributing to promoting democracy, peace, stability and cooperation in the region and the world.
Vietnam attaches great importance to and wishes to further expand relations with MERCOSUR in general and each member country of the bloc in particular, he affirmed.
The two sides acknowledged with their pleasure that the relations between Vietnam and MERCOSUR and its member countries have been strengthened across fields.
The two sides have maintained meetings and exchanges of all-level delegations. MERCOSUR is Vietnam's 13th largest trading partner with two-way trade increasing by nearly 5 times, from USD 2.45 billion in 2011 to USD 12 billion in 2022. Trade flows between MERCOSUR and Vietnam account for nearly a quarter of the total trade flows between MERCOSUR and ASEAN.
However, the Vietnamese top legislator said the results are not commensurate with the existing potential, especially in trade and investment, noting that the main reason for this is that the two sides have not had a free trade agreement (FTA).
Vietnam has completed an internal review related to FTA negotiations with MERCOSUR, he stated, expressing the hope that the two sides will soon start negotiations towards signing the Vietnam-MERCOSUR FTA to facilitate bilateral trade and investment activities.
This is especially important in the context that investment flows and global supply chains are disrupted due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and complicated and unpredictable developments in the world, Hue added.
Hue said Vietnam signed a number of cooperation agreements, framework agreements, and memorandums of understanding on cooperation in science-technology and other fields with member countries of MERCOSUR such as Argentina and Brazil, but cooperation with MERCOSUR as a bloc in these areas remains limited.
The Vietnamese NA has cooperative relations with the parliaments of 164 countries around the world, including bilateral cooperation relations with all parliaments of MERCOSUR members, Hue noted, saying that the Vietnamese NA is willing to contribute to connecting PARLASUR and the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organisation.
The PARLASUR’s leaders expressed great interest in the possibility that Vietnam can serve as a gateway for MERCOSUR to enter ASEAN, and affirmed that they back the early start of negotiations for Vietnam - MERCOSUR FTA.
They suggested soon establishing a direct cooperation mechanism between the Vietnamese NA and PARLASUR, thus promoting cooperation agreements between Vietnam and MERCOSUR.
On the occasion, the two parliaments issued a joint press statement.
|Delegates at the night show on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Uruguay – Vietnam diplomatic relations.|
The same day, Vietnam’s high-ranking NA delegation had a meeting with members of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives of Uruguay in Montevideo.
Uruguay’s opening its embassy in Vietnam reflects its wish to tighten cooperation with Vietnam, Chairmen of the committee Ubaldo Pascual Aita Maidana and Gustavo Penadés said, noting that as a member of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), Uruguay has set up cooperative ties with countries worldwide, including Vietnam.
NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue held talks with the Speaker of the Senate of Uruguay Beatriz Argimon Cedeira and the Speaker of the Chamber of Representatives of Uruguay Sebastian Andujar following a welcome ceremony in Montevideo on April 27 morning.
Lauding Uruguay's position and role in the South American region and international organizations, the top Vietnamese legislator said the potential and opportunities for bilateral collaboration remain huge.
He asked Uruguay and members of the MERCOSUR to soon complete procedures of internal consultation and announce the launch of the Vietnam – MERCOSUR free trade agreement together with Vietnam at an early date.
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