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Jun 21, 2022 / 21:13

1st Mozambique Parliament Speaker visits Vietnam for multisectoral ties

Mozambique seeks further cooperation with Vietnam in agriculture, healthcare, and telecommunications.

Esperança Laurinda Francisco Nhiuane Bias, President of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique, is on her week-long visit to Vietnam starting on June 18 to strengthen the relations that both countries named “traditional.”

Esperança Laurinda Francisco Nhiuane Bias, President of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique, and Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue in Hanoi on June 20. Photos: Quochoi

This is the first visit paid to Vietnam by a Mozambican parliamentary leader since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1975.

The highlights of the visit are a memorandum of understanding between the two parliaments, agreements to boost the cooperation in politics, education, telecommunications, agriculture, security, and mutual support at international multilateral forums.

In addition, Bias paid courtesy visits to Vietnamese leaders namely General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong, President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and held a meeting with Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.

At the meeting with Bias on June 20, Chairman of Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) Vuong Dinh Hue said Vietnam attaches special importance to the traditional friendship and cooperation with Mozambique, listing Mozambique as one of the five African countries that Vietnam prioritizes to promote political and economic cooperation now and in the future.

The visit took place two weeks after a phone talk between Nguyen Phu Trong and Mozambique President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, who is also President of the Mozambican Liberation Front (Frelimo). Nyusi affirmed that Vietnam is a priority in Mozambique’s East-oriented foreign policy.

During the visit, the two sides expect mutual support from international organizations, especially the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, ASEAN, and African Union.

In talks with Bias, Vietnamese leaders said Vietnam’s willing to share experiences in socio-economic development and post-pandemic recovery, in training military and security cadres, and combating crimes, especially in wildlife trafficking.

Regarding education, Vuong Dinh Hue said Vietnam would continue providing scholarships to Mozambique students, strengthening cooperation in public health and traditional medicine.

Of the sectors, the Mozambican delegation sought Vietnam’s experiences in agriculture, political strategies, and typical economic models by visiting the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics (HCMA), the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS), and Quang Ninh Province, which is home to the world’s natural heritage Ha Long Bay. 

 The two parliament leaders sign a memorandum of understanding. 

Economic ties in the spotlight

Economic ties were mostly focused on during the visit. The Mozambican delegation expressed hope to get more investment inflows from Vietnam and gave a presentation on Mozambique’s investment policies.

At the meetings with Vietnamese leaders, Bias said Mozambique currently ranks 11th among the 72 countries and territories receiving investments from Vietnam in different projects in agriculture, aquaculture, and telecommunications.

Vietnamese NA Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue asked Mozambique to facilitate the operations of Movitel, a joint venture between Vietnam’s Military Group Viettel and Mozambican company SPI which has become operational since May 2012 with six million subscribers or 85% of the country’s population so far.  

Vietnam and Mozambique are working on different agricultural projects with Vietnamese expertise in food crops and aquaculture.

The two sides agreed to boost the two-way trade which remains modest at US$149 million in 2021. Vietnam’s main staples to Mozambique are rice, fertilizer, garment and textile products, electronic devices, and seafood while Mozambican exports include cashew nut, animal feed, and timber. Vietnam is also willing to import coal, LPG, and metals from the African country.

On June 21, the Mozambican delegation led by Bias visited Viettel’s headquarters in Hanoi and worked with the group’s Chairman Tao Duc Thang, to discuss future cooperation plans.

Movitel is the largest mobile operator in Mozambique It owns the biggest telecom network with over 3,000 2G/3G base stations, and more than 30,000 km of fiber optical cable covering 80% of the Mozambican population, according to Viettel.

This infrastructure enables Mozambique’s telecommunication industry to implement the e-Government and ICT applications in the education and healthcare sectors for socio-economic development.

Mozambican Ambassador to Vietnam Leonardo Rosario Manuel Pene said Movitel, the company with US$600 million of investment capital, has contributed a lot to the socio-economic development in the Southeastern African country by supporting the education sector and assisting governmental agencies in digitalization.  

 The two speakers at the meeting.