Strengthening Vietnam-Czech Republic traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation

Wednesday, 2017-06-07 11:31:01
 Font Size:     |        Print

President Tran Dai Quang and President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman inspect the Guard of Honour.
 Font Size:     |  

NDO - President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman and his spouse arrived in Hanoi on June 6 to begin a State visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang. The visit is regarded as a significant political event in Vietnam-Czechia relations, seeking to further tighten the long-standing friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries.

The Czech Republic is an Eastern European nation with an economy growing both in strength and stability. The country joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in March 1999 and the European Union (EU) in May 2004. In regards to its foreign policy, the Czech Republic prioritises EU integration and focuses on developing ties with neighbouring nations as well as those in the Visegrad Group (also called V4; an alliance of four Central European states). In Asia, the Czech Republic gives priority to promoting relations with powerhouses and a number of nations it holds long-standing friendships with, including Vietnam. The country always participates actively and proactively in the activities of regional and international organisations, including the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Since the inception of their diplomatic ties in 1950, the traditional friendly relations and multifaceted cooperation between Vietnam and the Czech Republic have been unceasingly strengthened and fostered by generations of leaders and people of the two countries. Vietnam always treasures ties with long-standing partners in Central and Eastern Europe, with the Czech Republic being one of Vietnam’s priority partners. The fine relationship between the two countries has been marked by high-ranking visits, most recently the visit made to the Czech Republic by Chairwoman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan last April and the visit to Vietnam made by Czech Senate President Milan Stech in November 2015. Vietnam and the Czech Republic have signed many framework agreements on economic cooperation, investment, foreign affairs, culture and education. The two countries have always collaborated closely and supported one another in UN related activities as well as at other international forums.

We are happy to see the increasingly growing economic ties between Vietnam and the Czech Republic, with two-way trade reaching US$249 million in 2016. Vietnam exports coffee, pepper, rice, tea and seafood to the Czech Republic and imports electronics, machinery, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and mechanical products from the European country. In 2012, the Czech Republic announced its national export strategy in the 2012-2020 period, with Vietnam named among the country’s 12 priority markets. Education and training cooperation between the two sides has been maintained and accelerated, bringing about a lot of positive results. Since 1999, the Czech government has maintained the provision of scholarships to Vietnamese students and PhD students. Both sides are in negotiations for the signing of a cooperative agreement on education in the new period.

The Vietnamese people always keep in mind the enthusiastic support and precious assistance of the government and people of former Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic at present in Vietnam’s past struggle for national liberation and its current national construction cause. The Czech Republic regularly participates in international conferences supporting Vietnam and is one of the few Central-East European countries to provide development aid for Vietnam since 1994, with total aid value at approximately US$18 million. There are currently about 65,000 Vietnamese people living, studying and working in the Czech Republic, and the Vietnamese community has received favourable conditions from the authorities in both residence and business. In 2013, the Czech government made the decision to add a Vietnamese Czech representative to the Council for Ethnic Minorities.

The State visit made to Vietnam by President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman and his spouse has affirmed the determination of leaders and people of both countries to further tighten the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the Czech Republic and Vietnam, and to strengthen political trust between the two countries’ leaders. The visit offers a good occasion for the two sides to discuss measures seeking to accelerate bilateral cooperation across various fields in a more substantive and effective fashion, as well as discuss regional and international issues of mutual concern, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the world.