Further accelerating friendly cooperative relations between Vietnam and Egypt

Wednesday, 2017-09-06 11:20:38
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NDO – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has arrived in Hanoi, beginning his two-day State visit to Vietnam at the invitation of President Tran Dai Quang. This is the first head of state visit between Vietnam and Egypt, with the aim of strengthening the traditional friendly and cooperative relations that exist between the two countries.

>>> Vietnam – one of priorities in Egypt’s Look East policy: ambassador

The Arab Republic of Egypt is located in the Northern African region, with a population of over 94 million. The nation ranks second in terms of both economics and population, and lies among the leading recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa. Thanks to the strong economic reform measures undertaken by President el-Sisi, alongside the financial aid granted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Egypt has now overcome a period of difficulty and has stabilised the economy. In 2016, the Egyptian economy witnessed a lot of transformations, with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reaching US$331 billion, registering an annual growth of 4.3%, which is expected to resume at a rate of 5% this year.

As a country with a geo-strategic location connecting the two continents of Asia and Africa, and holding high prestige within the region, Egypt has contributed significantly to the operational budget of the African Union (AU), is a country in which the Arab League is headquartered, and represents the Afro-Arab group in applying for the post as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2016-2017 tenure. Since his taking office in mid-2014, President el-Sisi has continued promoting the “Look East” policy, paying attention to expanding ties with Asian nations, including Vietnam. Last September, Egypt officially acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC).

We are pleased to see that the traditional friendly and cooperative relations between Vietnam and Egypt have been growing in a fine manner. Egypt was one of the first Arab countries to establish relations with Vietnam. Vietnam has had its trade representative office in Egypt since 1958 and on September 1, 1963, the two countries formally established diplomatic ties. The fine relations between Vietnam and Egypt have been marked by the exchange of delegations as well as the bilateral meetings and talks between the two sides at international events and forums, including President Nguyen Minh Triet’s visit to Egypt for the Non-aligned Summit (July 2009); the meeting between President Truong Tan Sang and the Egyptian Prime Minister on the sidelines of the Asia-Africa Summit and the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference in Indonesia (April 2015), and President Sang’s meeting with the Egyptian President at the 70th anniversary of the victory of the world anti-fascist war in Moscow (May 2015); and the meeting between President Tran Dai Quang and the head of the Egyptian delegation on the sidelines of the 16th Francophonie Summit in Madagascar (November 2016). Egypt highly appreciates Vietnam’s stance over the issues of Arab countries. The two nations regularly work together and support each other at international forums, with Egypt backing Vietnam’s application for the UN Security Council (2020 - 2021) and the UN Human Rights Council (2014 - 2016), and Vietnam backing Egypt’s admission to the UN Security Council (2016 - 2017) and the UN Human Rights Council (2017 - 2019).

Vietnam and Egypt have signed many cooperation agreements in the fields of economics, trade, investment, culture and tourism. Egypt is Vietnam’s second largest trade partner in Africa, with two-way trade revenues between them reaching US$316 million in 2016. Vietnam’s major exports to Egypt include seafood, automotive parts, fabrics, black pepper, coffee, rubber and consumer goods, while its main imports are chemicals, honey, petroleum products, milk and dairy products, fibers and consumer goods. Egypt was the first Northern African country to recognise Vietnam as a country with a full market economy (November 2013). The two countries have regularly exchanged information and cooperation through the Party and local channels and in the fields of inspection and culture, among others. The Vietnam - Egypt Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group has already been established.

President el-Sisi’s State visit to Vietnam holds a historic meaning in relations between the two countries, affirming Egypt’s respect and desire for enhanced cooperation with Vietnam. The visit also offers an opportunity for both sides to discuss the measures needed to further promote their cooperation across the spheres of economics, trade and investment, and to look for cooperation opportunities in the areas of their strength such as agriculture, culture and tourism. The results of the visit will contribute to leading the relations between the two countries into a new chapter, with more effective and extensive, multifaceted cooperation, contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the world.