Vietnam seeks stronger partnership with Spain

Politburo member and Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man on March 15 arrived in Madrid to start his four-day working visit to Spain.

At a meeting with Secretary General of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) Enrique Santiago, Man highly valued the positive progress of the Vietnam-Spain relations with a large number of high-level visits.

Noting that the PCE was the first in Western Europe to set up relations with the Communist Party of Vietnam, Man affirmed that Vietnam always remembers the support and solidarity that the party gave to Vietnam during its national struggle for independence.

He underlined that cooperation through the Party channel is an important foundation for the promotion of the political and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Man asked for Spain’s assistance in calling for the international community’s support to the viewpoints of the ASEAN and Vietnam on the East Sea issues with the aim to ensure aviation and maritime security, safety and freedom in the region, and settling disputes through peaceful measures in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. He said he hopes the European Commission will soon remove the yellow card on the Vietnamese fisheries sector.

For his part, Enrique Santiago expressed his admiration for the Communist Party of Vietnam and its role in the national struggle for independence in the past and the current national development of Vietnam.

He said that the PCE is always willing to contribute to promoting the Vietnam-Spain relations as well as the ties between the two parties. As a party that supports peace and multilateralism, the PCE will assist Vietnam to foster relations with multilateral organisations, while hastening European parliaments to approve the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) as soon as possible, he pledged.

Regarding inter-parliamentary cooperation, Santiago affirmed that the PCE is willing to connect the Spanish parliament with the Vietnamese NA, initially through the organisation of visits of parliamentarians from different parties to Vietnam.

The same day, Man had a meeting with leaders of Acciona Group, and visited a number of wastewater treatment plants run by the firm in Madrid.

Acciona, one of the leading Spanish enterprises in the field of infrastructure development, renewable energy and environment, has engaged in the project to clean up Nhieu Loc-Thi Nghe canal in Ho Chi Minh City.

Man lauded the firm’s presence in Vietnam, considering it as a turning point in the expansion of the Vietnam-Spain investment cooperation. He said that the treatment of solid waste, wastewater and domestic waste is an urgent problem in Vietnam, adding he hopes after the project is finished, it will become a model to multiply in other localities, contributing to promoting environmental protection in Vietnam.

Also on March 15, Man visited the Vietnamese Embassy in the European country.

Reporting to the NA Vice Chairman on the relations between the two countries, Ambassador Hoang Xuan Hai said that Spain is the eighth largest trade partner of Vietnam in the EU, while Vietnam is the biggest trade partner of Spain in the ASEAN. Last year, two-way trade reached 4.5 billion EUR (4.76 billion USD), with Vietnam’s exports of 4 billion EUR.