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Aug 15, 2022 / 23:04

Vietnam, Qatar eye free trade agreement

The countries attempt to strengthen relations on politics, economics, energy, tourism, and manpower to tap potential of both.

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on August 15 requested Vietnamese and Qatari authorities to speed up negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement.

  Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh meets Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in Hanoi on August 15. Photo: VGP

Speaking at a meeting with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, Chinh said he wanted the two countries to ink an agreement on visa exemption for ordinary passport holders. 

He welcomed the agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders while expecting the two countries to sign agreements on maritime, customs, justice, security, culture, and tourism. 

The Vietnamese PM asked Qatar to increase investment in infrastructure, oil and gas, renewable energy, green technology, and digital transformation, at the same time, requested Qatar’s official development assistance (ODA) in infrastructure and agricultural projects in Vietnam for export to Qatar and the Middle East and Africa. He also asked Qatar to help develop Halal industry in Vietnam so that Vietnamese goods can meet international Halal compliance standards.

For enhanced relations, Chinh requested the two sides to boost high-ranking exchange visits and soon organize the 3rd meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee to agree on measures to strengthen cooperation in the coming period and coordinate labor issues, in which Qatar will welcome more skilled workers from Vietnam.

On the same day, Vietnamese Minister of Foreign Affairs Bui Thanh Son met Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, agreeing to boost trade promotion activities, facilitating exports to each market.

The top diplomats also agreed to enhance cooperation at international forums, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

 Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani (L) visits Vietnam on August 14-15, 2022. Photos: Baoquocte
 Qatari top diplomat is hosted by Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son in Hanoi on August 15. 
 The two sides discuss ways to facilitate goods access to each country's market. 
 The two ministers sign cooperation agreement. 
 Vietnam and Qatar are preparing to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations.
 The two diplomats agree to host the 3rd meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee to enhance relations.