Jan 25, 2021 / 15:15

Vietnam receives three new ambassadors

The Hanoitimes - Ambassadors from Spain, Iran and the Philippines have begun their missions in Vietnam.

Ambassadors from Spain, Iran, and the Philippines have begun their missions in Vietnam.

Ambassador of Spain María del Pilar Méndez Jiménez, Ambassador of Iran Ali Akbar Nazari, and Ambassador of the Philippines Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre last weekend presented letters of credence to Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam and State President Nguyen Phu Trong.

The Vietnamese president hoped that the ambassadors, with high sense of responsibility and affection for Vietnam, will successfully fulfill their tasks, continuing to strengthen the relationship between Vietnam and the nations.

 Ambassador of Spain to Vietnam María del Pilar Méndez Jiménez. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

The Vietnam-Spain relationship was set up in 1977, however, it dated back in the 16th century with the visits by many Spanish navigators and missionaries and in 1863, King Tu Duc under the Nguyen Dynasty sent a diplomatic mission to Spanish Queen Isabel II court in Madrid.

The bilateral relations were elevated to Strategic Partnership toward the future in December 2009.

Outgoing Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam María Jesús Figa when beginning her term in Vietnam in 2017 commited to lifting the Vietnam-Spain relationship to a new height with a focus on economics ties through trade. She proposed the building of action plans for the upcoming cooperation, mainly in infrastructure, renewable energy, environment and hi-tech agriculture.

Spain is one of the European countries having high trade growth rate with Vietnam, ranging between 18% and 20% annually over the past few years. Vietnam is Spain’s key trading partner in Southeast Asia. The two-way trade was estimated to exceed US$5 billion in 2020.

Editor in Chief of The Diplomat in Spain Alberto Rubio said that the Vietnam-Spain relationship is not ephemeral. The relationship will open the door to investments and trade even more in an area that Spain always wants to reach, he emphasized.

Ambassador of Iran to Vietnam Ali Akbar Nazari 

Vietnam and Iran set up bilateral relations in 1973. Outgoing Saleh Adibi, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Vietnam said that the ties is on the way for comprehensive cooperation with a focus on economic ties.

The two countries have been making efforts to remove trade and investment barriers in order to reach the two-way trade of US$2 billion in the near future. Iran and Vietnam are considering signing a preferential trade agreement with this regard.

Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA) Deputy Head for International Affairs Mohammad-Reza Karbasi said both countries are part of the Eurasian Economic Agreement, so they could help each other entering into the mentioned markets.

Karbasi stressed that both Iranian and Vietnamese government officials are seeking improvement of economic relations along with good political ties.

 Ambassador of the Philippines to Vietnam Meynardo Los Banos Montealegre

The relations between Vietnam and the Philippines were established in 1976. It was elevated to Strategic Partnership in 2015.

Paul Vincent L. Uy, the Charge d' Affaires from the Philippines Embassy in Hanoi, affirmed that the two countries have good political relations at all levels. They have many similarities in geography, population, and culture.

In terms of economic ties, the countries have made great gains with Philippine exports to Vietnam reaching US$1.27 billion and Vietnam’s exports to the Philippines hitting $3.64 billion in 2019.

More and more Filipino companies investing in Vietnam while nearly 8,000 Filipinos living in the country, many of whom work in quality inspection in manufacturing industry, teaching English, or as hotel staff, and musicians.

Dr. Nguyen Hung Son, the deputy director of Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, emphasized that Vietnam and the Philippines are two natural strategic partners, sharing many common interests in the context in which the world and the region are facing new emerging security threats.

Vietnam, as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2020-2021 term, and the Philippines, with the role of coordinator of the ASEAN-China relations by 2021, are expected to tighten cooperation on international agendas and among ASEAN member states to promote the bloc solidarity and ASEAN Centrality in the regional strategic security, pushing up the rule-based maintenance.

Two Southeast Asian states who are also parties in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Vietnam) disputes have long maintained a defense cooperation as part of their wider relationship. One of the mechanisms that both sides have developed within their strategic partnership is a Vietnam-Philippines Defense Dialogue that was first held back in 2015, according to Dr. Prashanth Parameswaran is a Senior Columnist at The Diplomat and a fellow at the Wilson Center’s Asia Program.