|Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man (fifth from left) posing for a photo with Barcelona’s leading officials. Photo: VNA
Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Tran Thanh Man left for Hanoi on March 18, concluding his four-day working visit to Spain. Before that, he visited the port city of Barcelona on March 17, within the framework of his working visit to Spain, VNA reported.
General Secretary of Metropolis Felip Roca Blasco said that the visit was an important event for Barcelona, especially in the context of its policy of developing relations with Asian countries.
As an open and dynamic city, Barcelona wants to seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese localities, particularly Ho Chi Minh City, he stressed.
The general secretary also took this occasion to invite Vietnamese cities to attend exhibitions held in Barcelona, including the 2023 Smart City Expo World Congress slated for November.
Man asserted that Vietnam always opens its door and creates a favourable investment environment for foreign businesses, including those from Spain.
|Meeting between Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man and General Secretary of Metropolis Felip Roca Blasco. Photo: VNA
Many businessmen in HCM City hope to explore investment opportunities in Barcelona, he said, proposing the general secretary and other city leaders contribute to promoting trade relations between the two cities in particular and strengthening the Vietnam – Spain strategic partnership in general.
Meeting Pau Guardans Cambo, Honorary Consul of Vietnam in Barcelona, Man expressed his belief that with his reputation and experience, the honorary consul with help boost cooperation between the two countries and their localities in various fields; and protect the rights and interests of the State and citizens of Vietnam.
Pau Guardans Cambo affirmed that he will help boost cooperation in economics, trade, investment, culture, education and tourism between Barcelona and Catalonia region with Vietnam, thus contributing to the development of the Spain-Vietnam strategic partnership in the coming time.
|NA Permanent Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man visits Port of Barcelona. Photo: VNA
Man also visited the Port of Barcelona which has had relations with Vietnam’s HCM City, Hai Phong, Vung Tau and Quy Nhon ports.
Statistics from the Port Management Board show that in 2022, freight trading between Vietnam and Spain through this port reached 610,321 tonnes, up 25.6% year-on-year. The volume of Vietnam’s containers transshipped through this port also increased by 26.9% to a total of 48,423 units.
Man suggested the two sides strengthen cooperation in shipping and tourism, as there remains huge potential for bilateral collaboration in these fields.
Previous, Man held separate talks with Vice President of the Senate Cristina Narbona and First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain Alfonso Rodriguez in Madrid on March 16.
|NA Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man holds talks with Vice President of the Spanish Senate Cristina Narbona in Madrid on March 16. Photo: VNA
The leader proposed Spain continue supporting Vietnam’s candidacy for membership in suitable UN mechanisms and keep close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums and international organisations, especially the UN, the ASEAN – EU framework, and the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Appealing for Spain’s support for the European Commission’s early removal of its “yellow card” warning against Vietnam’s seafood exports to bring about benefits to both sides, Man affirmed that Vietnam has been exerting efforts to fully and seriously implement the EU’s recommendations related to illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing to sustainably develop the fishery sector.
The NA Vice Chairman also expressed his hope that Spain will keep raising a strong voice advocating ASEAN and Vietnam’s stances and viewpoints, including those on ensuring security and safety of navigation and overflight in the region; peacefully resolving disputes in line with international law, especially the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and supporting negotiations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the Bien Dong Sea.
He thanked and suggested Spain continue creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to live and integrate into the local society so that they can help strengthen the two countries’ friendship and cooperation.
|The talks between NA Vice Chairman Tran Thanh Man and First Vice President of the Congress of Deputies of Spain Alfonso Rodriguez on March 16. Photo: VNA
In terms of relations between the Vietnamese and Spanish parliaments, both sides voiced their delight at the flourishing cooperation as seen in the maintained coordination and mutual support at multilateral parliamentary forums such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the Asia – Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP), along with delegation exchanges, especially at high levels.
Welcoming the Vietnamese delegation, Vice President of the Senate Narbona said both the Senate and the Congress of Deputies of Spain have some parliamentary friendship groups, so the two countries can establish similar groups to boost exchanges.
Spain opened a trade office in Vietnam in 2022 to facilitate Spanish businesses’ operations and contribute to bilateral economic ties, she noted, adding that it is strong at expressway construction, energy, electricity, and water treatment and ready to take part in projects in Vietnam.
Regarding Vietnam’s proposals, she promised to deliver them to the Senate and related ministries and agencies for consideration to help further enhance all-round relations.
For his part, Vice President of the Congress of Deputies Rodriguez suggested the two sides promote high-level mutual visits, saying amid the volatile global situation, both Vietnam and Spain hold many advantages to jointly tap into, including Vietnam’s important geographical location in the Asia-Pacific region.
During its EU Council Presidency, Spain will focus on four priorities, namely cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, cooperation in guaranteeing maritime security, the connectivity of economies, and natural disaster response, Rodriguez said.
|NA Vice Chairman Man and Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon at a meeting on March 16. Photo: VNA
Also on March 16, Man had a working session with Spanish Minister of Consumer Affairs Alberto Garzon, during which he said Vietnam always treasures and wants to strengthen relations with Spain.
Before that, on March 15, Man 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 affirmed that Vietnam always remembers the support and solidarity that the party gave to Vietnam during its national struggle for independence, noting that the PCE was the first in Western Europe to set up relations with the Communist Party of Vietnam.
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.
|Politburo member and Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly Tran Thanh Man (L) meets Secretary General of the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) Enrique Santiago in Madrid. Photo: VNA
For his part, Enrique Santiago said that the PCE is always willing to contribute to promoting the Vietnam-Spain relations as well as the ties between the two parties.
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 HCM City.
Also on March 15, Man visited the Vietnamese Embassy in the European country.