NA leader’s visit set to strengthen traditional, multifaceted ties with Bulgaria

The official visit to Bulgaria, starting on September 23, by Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue is set to further intensify the traditional friendship and multifaceted cooperation between the two countries, including their parliamentary ties.

This is the first visit to Bulgaria by a chairperson of the Vietnamese NA in 15 years, since the trip by then NA Chairman Nguyen Phu Trong in 2008.

The two countries boast long-standing friendship and cooperation. Bulgaria was one of the first countries in the world to recognise and set up diplomatic ties with Vietnam, on February 8, 1950. The official visit to the European country by then President Ho Chi Minh in August 1957 laid the foundation and marked an important milestone in the history of bilateral relations.

Over the last more than 70 years, the countries’ Governments and people have unceasingly nurtured their traditional ties in various fields, from politics, diplomacy to culture, science, education, and security-defence.

Leaders of Vietnam and Bulgaria have maintained frequent dialogues and taken concrete steps to enhance bilateral cooperation.

Trade between the two countries have been growing steadily but yet to live up to potential.

During the first eight months of 2023, their trade turnover reached 147.3 million USD, rising 12.5% year on year. It included 96.5 million USD in exports from Vietnam and 50.8 million USD in imports, respectively up 9.6% and 18.2%, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai said the two countries hold many favourable conditions to foster economic links, including trade and investment. While Vietnam mainly exports its traditional consumer products to Bulgaria, there remain a number of other consumer goods they are strong at and demand in the two markets is substantial.

Meanwhile, comprehensive cooperation between the two peoples have been bolstered as seen in the fields of education, tourism, culture, business, and labour.

More than 30,000 Vietnamese people who used to work and study in Bulgaria in the 1970s and 1980s became leading scientists, experts, and engineers of Vietnam, and they are still making important contributions to the national development and defence nowadays.

Vietnam’s membership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Bulgaria’s membership of the European Union (EU) have generated more added value for bilateral cooperation. The dynamic expansion of Vietnam – EU ties under the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) has also enriched the potential for business-to-business and people-to-people exchanges based on common political priorities between the two countries.

Don Tuan Phong, Vice Chairman of the NA’s Committee for External Relations, noted that an important part of Chairman Hue’s visit to Bulgaria is to promote this country and the EU’s effective implementation of the EVFTA, and persuade the Bulgarian parliament to ratify the EVIPA.

The NA Chairman will also have talks and meetings with Bulgarian leaders to discuss measures for developing cooperation in multiple areas on par with the countries’ potential and aspirations, he added.

Source: Vietnam News Agency