Vietnam, Croatia Target Stronger All-Round Cooperation

Croatia always supports the enhancement of relations with Vietnam in various areas and serves as a gateway for Vietnam to enhance cooperation with the European Union, the Croatian President Zoran Milanović affirmed on October 10.

Vietnam, Croatia Target Stronger All-Round Cooperation
At the meeting between Vietnamese Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and Croatian President Zoran Milanović. Photo: VNA

At a reception for Vietnamese Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, Milanović noted that Croatia backs the EU’s early removal of “yellow card” warning on Vietnamese aquatic products.

He added that the European nation is ready to share its experience in sustainable aquaculture with Vietnam, VietnamPlus reported.

Vice President Xuan, who is on an official visit to Croatia from October 9-11, stressed that Vietnam always treasures and wishes to boost bilateral traditional friendship and all-around cooperation, which was founded decades ago.

She thanked Croatia for providing 60,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses for Vietnam in late 2021 as well as supporting the negotiation and signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and early approval of the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA), which have opened up opportunities in fields of each country’s strength and demand such as marine economy, agriculture, food processing, logistics and clean energy.

Both sides agreed to enhance the exchange of all-level delegations, especially those at high level and reached consensus on measures to intensify bilateral ties, particularly in economy, trade and investment, as well as expand cooperation into the most promising areas such as tourism, transport, education-training and sports.

On the occasion, Xuan conveyed President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s invitation to President Milanović to visit Vietnam. The Croatian President accepted the invitation with pleasure and wished to visit Vietnam at the earliest.

On the same day, Xuan met with Deputy Speaker of the Croatian Parliament Ante Sanader, who considered the Vietnamese delegation’s visit an opportunity for Croatia to strengthen its relations with Vietnam.

Vietnam, Croatia Target Stronger All-Round Cooperation
Vietnamese Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan and Croatian President Zoran Milanović. Photo: VNA

The Vice President stated Vietnam wishes to promote the traditional friendship with Croatia in all fields through all Party, State, government, parliament and locality-to-locality channels.

Appreciating the Croatian Parliament for being one of the first in the EU to ratify the EVIPA, she proposed the body continue to encourage parliaments of other EU countries to soon ratify the deal so that it will take effect as soon as possible, creating a legal basis to promote trade and investment cooperation between Vietnam and the bloc in general and Croatia in particular.

Both officials agreed to consider the early signing of a cooperation agreement between their parliaments and a possibility of establishing their friendship parliamentarians’ groups.

Earlier on October 10, Xuan visited the University of Zagreb, where she suggested Vietnam and Croatia soon sign an agreement on educational cooperation, implement join projects on scientific research and innovation, and establish a direct student exchange mechanism between the University of Zagreb and Vietnamese universities.

On October 9, she had a meeting with staff at the Vietnamese Embassy in Hungary and Croatia, and representatives of the Vietnamese community there.

Vice President’s visit holds significance

Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan (second, left) is welcomed by State Secretary of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Zdenko Lucić at Zagreb Airport on October 9. (Photo: VNA)
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan (second, left) is welcomed by State Secretary of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs Zdenko Lucić at Zagreb Airport on October 9. (Photo: VNA)

The ongoing official visit to Croatia by Vice President Xuan will help intensify bilateral relations in multiple fields, Vietnamese Ambassador to Hungary and Croatia Nguyen Thi Bich Thao said.

Talking to the press, the ambassador said since the diplomatic relationship was set up in 1994, this is the first high-ranking visit to Croatia by a senior leader of Vietnam, according to Nhan dan (People) newspaper .

The trip aims to affirm that Vietnam treasures the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation with Croatia, help to strengthen bilateral ties, and discuss measures for reinforcing economic, trade and investment links and capitalising on the EVFTA, she noted.

The diplomat highlighted the development of the two countries’ political and diplomatic relations in the recent past as seen in many delegation exchanges, their Prime Ministers’ meetings within the frameworks of the Asia – Europe Meeting (ASEM) events and United Nations sessions, close coordination and mutual support at multilateral forums, and contributions of many initiatives to regional and international cooperation mechanisms.

She affirmed that the Vice President’s visit is an occasion for Vietnamese and Croatian leaders to affirm their willingness to enhance partnerships between the two countries, as well as between Vietnam and the EU. It is also a chance for the Southeast Asian nation to persuade EU members to ratify the EVIPA and propose the European Commission to lift the “yellow card” warning against Vietnam’s seafood.

The ambassasor expressed her belief that after this visit, bilateral relations will become even stronger, especially in economy, trade, and investment./.

Trade between Vietnam and Croatia has recorded considerable expansion in recent years, with average annual growth of 14% between 2015 and 2021.

The figure topped $116 million in 2019, surging 168.5% from 2014, and regained growth momentum after the Covid-19 pandemic to surpass $90 million in 2021, including $52.6 million USD of Vietnamese exports – up 4.4% from a year earlier.

The value reached $87.6 million in the first eight months of 2022, up 46.2% year on year, with Vietnamese exports up 76% to $58.1 million.

Croatia is a tourism hub and also a logistics service centre in Europe. Meanwhile, Vietnam is strong at light industries such as garment, footwear, aquaculture, agricultural production and processing, and tourism.

Rosy Huong