Promoting relations, co-operation potential between Vietnam and Iceland

Wednesday, 2015-11-04 11:32:17
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NDO - President of Iceland Olafur Ragnar Grimsson and his wife are paying a State visit to Vietnam from November 3-6 at the invitation of President Truong Tan Sang, an important political event marking a new milestone in bilateral relations and affirming the resolution of leaders and people of both countries to deepen bilateral ties.

Vietnamese people gladly congratulate the all-round achievements of Iceland.

Vietnam and Iceland established diplomatic ties on August 5, 1973. The two countries have maintained bilateral relations actively through high-level delegation exchanges to stimulate the development of bilateral ties, evidenced by the Vietnam visit made by Icelandic Prime Minister David Oddsson in April 2002 and Vietnamese Deputy PM Hoang Trung Hai’s visit to the European country in September 2011.

The two countries have worked closely with each other at regional and international forums.

So far, Vietnam-Iceland trade relations have remained limited and not on par with the sound bilateral political relationship. Two-way trade reached US$6 million in 2014 and was valued at US$9 million in the first six months of this year. Vietnam mainly exports wood, garments, textiles, vegetables and fruits to Iceland, while Iceland ships materials, seafood and machinery to Vietnam.

Iceland has not invested directly in Vietnam but promoted co-operation with Vietnam in fisheries via the United Nations’ programmes. The two countries signed an Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance, an Agreement on Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments and another on aviation transport in order to create favourable conditions for businesses from both countries.

The Vietnamese community in Iceland sits at approximately 1,000; generally speaking, Vietnamese living in the country have stable lives and jobs, follow State laws, have thoroughly integrated into the host country and act as bridges boosting bilateral ties.

President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson’s State visit to Vietnam aims to promote bilateral relations; exploit co-operation strengths and potentials in economics, science, technology and education; create conditions for businesses from both sides to study and enhance trade and investment collaboration; boost an early conclusion of negotiations for the European Free Trade Association (EFTA); and enhance co-operation between the two countries at international forums.

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