Minister Zaorálek held talks with Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam
24.07.2014 / 15:00
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Lubomír Zaorálek, met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Pham Binh Minh, at the Czernin Palace on July 24, 2014.
The Ministers evaluated overall development of bilateral relations and identified prospective areas for mutual cooperation. "In my opinion, there is a large and untapped potential for cooperation in the areas of trade and economy," said Minister Zaorálek. "Despite the increase in Czech exports to Vietnam the Czech Republic's trade deficit keeps deepening," added Minister Zaorálek. In 2013, the volume of Czech exports to Vietnam reached the record of USD 128.9 million while trade deficit amounted to USD 290 million. Hence, Minister Zaorálek expressed interest in deepening cooperation foremost in economic area and in increasing the volume of trade exchange. He also asked Deputy Prime Minister Minh for a more efficient assistance in dealing with persisting problems that Czech investors face in Vietnam.
The Ministers also discussed the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic. "We value their contribution to development of the Czech Republic which became their home country," Minister Zaorálek referred to the Vietnamese living in the Czech Republic. "They represent an important cultural, social and economic bridge between our countries."
Deputy Prime Minister Minh confirmed that Vietnam was ready to cooperate in preventing and suppressing illegal drug production and distribution. Two currently negotiated agreements on cooperation in combating crime (on police cooperation) and transfer of sentenced persons should be signed by the end of 2014.
Partners also addressed the area of human rights, where the Czech Republic noted certain signs of positive development. Minister Zaorálek appreciated, for instance, adoption of new Vietnamese constitution and some other steps that the Vietnamese government has recently taken.
The Ministers looked back on the recent EU-ASEAN meeting in Brussels. They welcomed its conclusions and agreed that the EU and ASEAN countries should continue in deepening their cooperation. The Ministers also exchanged views on current international issues.
At the end of their meeting, the Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the two Ministries of Foreign Affairs.