VIETNAM, March 16 –
MADRID – Politburo member and Permanent Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Trần Thanh Mẫn on Wednesday 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, Mẫn highly valued the positive progress of the Việt Nam-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 Việt Nam, Mẫn affirmed that Việt Nam always remembers the support and solidarity that the party gave to Việt Nam during its national struggle for independence.
He underlined that cooperation through the Party channel is an important foundation for the promotion of political and diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Mẫn asked for Spain’s assistance in calling for the international community’s support of the viewpoints of the ASEAN and Việt Nam 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 Việt Nam and its role in the national struggle for independence in the past and the current development of Việt Nam.
He said that the PCE is always willing to contribute to promoting the Việt Nam-Spain relations as well as the ties between the two parties. As a party that supports peace and multilateralism, the PCE will assist Việt Nam to foster relations with multilateral organisations, while hastening European parliaments to approve the EU-Việt Nam 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 Việt Nam.
The same day, Mẫn 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 Nhiêu Lộc-Thị Nghè Canal in HCM City.
Mẫn lauded the firm’s presence in Việt Nam, considering it a turning point in the expansion of the Việt Nam-Spain investment cooperation. He said that the treatment of solid waste, wastewater and domestic waste is an urgent problem in Việt Nam, adding he hopes after the project is finished, it will become a model to multiply in other localities, contributing to promoting environmental protection in Việt Nam.
Also on Wednesday, Mẫn visited the Vietnamese Embassy in the European country.
Reporting to the NA Deputy Chairman on the relations between the two countries, Ambassador Hoàng Xuân Hải said that Spain is the eighth largest trade partner of Việt Nam in the EU, while Việt Nam is the biggest trade partner of Spain in ASEAN. Last year, two-way trade reached 4.5 billion euros (US$4.76 billion), with Việt Nam’s exports of four billion euros. –VNS