Vietnam, Kazakhstan to prioritise boosting economic and trade ties
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Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (R) and Chairman of the Mazhilis (lower house) of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Nurlan Nigmatulin at the welcome ceremony on November 14 (Photo: VNA)
The Vietnamese top legislator described Nigmatulin’s official visit as a milestone in the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.
Nigmatulin highlighted the fruitful bilateral relationship, especially the active development of legislative ties, with regular visits and meetings, including bilateral ones on the sidelines of regional and international parliamentary forums.
Host and guest shared the views that apart from the growing political and diplomatic relations, economic and trade links between Vietnam and Kazakhstan have been stepped up.
Since 2016, the free trade agreement between Vietnam and the Eurasian Economic Union has benefited Vietnam-Kazakhstan economic and trade collaboration, they said, adding that two-way trade increased from more than 200 million USD in 2017 to 268 million USD last year. The figure stood at nearly 130 million USD in the first half of this year.
However, the leaders said, the results have yet to match potential of both sides.
NA Chairwoman Ngan affirmed that Vietnam wishes to enhance the export of mobile phones, electronic products and components to Kazakhstan, and stands ready to facilitate the import of ore, minerals, chemicals and computers from the Central Asian country.
The two sides will prioritise boosting economic and trade ties, especially in the areas of Vietnam’s strength and Kazakhstan’s demand like light industry, food and garment-textiles.
Ngan lauded the success of the ninth meeting of the Vietnam-Kazakhstan Intergovernmental Committee in Nursultan last September, which set forth specific cooperation orientations in various spheres.
The Vietnamese NA is willing to work together with the Government and relevant agencies to create favourable conditions for Kazakhstani businesses to operate in Vietnam, she said, appealing to the Kazakhstani Parliament to facilitate the operation of Vietnamese firms in the country.
She used the occasion to thank Kazakhstan to support Vietnam to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021, and highly valued the close coordination and mutual support of the two countries at regional and international forums, as well as within the framework of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN.
Regarding the East Sea, Ngan said Vietnam welcomes efforts of all countries to contribute to maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and aviation for cooperation and development in the region.
She called on Kazakhstan to support stance of Vietnam and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that disputes in the East Sea must be handled by peaceful measures, without the use of force or threat to use force in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The leader suggested the two sides consider signing a cooperation agreement between the two legislative bodies, creating an important legal foundation for the sustainable and effective cooperation.
At the same time, the two sides should increase delegation exchanges at different levels, promote consultation mechanisms and closely coordinate at multilateral forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF), the Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP) and the Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries (MSEAP).
Agreeing with the Vietnamese top legislator’s proposals, Nigmatulin said the two sides should focus on enhancing economic and trade ties in the coming time.
There is room for the two countries to expand trade and investment links and tourism cooperation, he added.
Nigmatulin suggested the two nations further promote the exchange of delegations at levels, thus increasing mutual trust and understanding, and creating a momentum for stronger bilateral cooperation, including collaboration between the two legislative bodies, their committees, and parliament groups.
He thanked NA Chairwoman Ngan for her invitation to him to attend the 41st ASEAN Inter Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA 41) in 2020, saying that Kazakhstan will send a delegation to the event.
In a meeting with press after the talks, NA Chairwoman Ngan said the two sides agreed to consider the possibility of signing a cooperation agreement between the two legislatures, creating a foundation for fostering their effective and sustainable cooperation.
The two sides also agreed to maintain and promote the consultation mechanism and closely coordinate at multilateral forums such as IPU, APPF, ASEP and MSEAP.
Nigmatulin said Kazakhstan considers Vietnam a strategic partner in Southeast Asia, while Vietnam considers Kazakhstan an important partner in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
He said the two sides will promote the exchange of delegations and share experience in law-making and building legal corridor for operations of the two legislative bodies.
After the press conference, Nurlan and his entourages attended a session of the Vietnamese National Assembly at the Dien Hong Hall.
On the same day, the Kazakhstani delegation led by Nigmatulin paid tribute to President Ho Chi Minh at his mausoleum and laid wreaths at the Heroic Martyrs' Monument in Hanoi
NA Chairwoman Ngan is scheduled to host a banquet for the Kazakhstani delegation later the same day./.