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Sep 06, 2021 / 16:56

Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairman on Europe tour

EU nations have been fueling Vietnam’s recovery plans as this country is its largest trade partner in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue is on a one-week tour beginning on September 5 to Europe as the first Vietnamese leader to visit the EU since the pandemic broke out in early 2020.

 Vietnam’s National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue (R) and Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria Nguyen Trung Kien (C) on Sept 5. Photos: VNA

Hue will attend the 5th World Conference of Speakers of Parliament (WCSP) held in Vienna, Austria, visit the European Parliament (EP) and Belgium, and pay an official visit to Finland at the invitation by Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)’s President Duarte Pacheco, Austria’s National Council President Wolfgang Sobotka, President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, and Speaker of Finland’s Parliament Anu Vehvilainen, respectively.

The visit remains important for Vietnam’s bilateral relations as it is expected to strengthen relations with Austria in terms of economics, trade, investment, and agriculture, according to the Vietnamese Ambassador to Austria, Nguyen Trung Kien.

Hue is also scheduled to work with representatives of a number of countries during the tour.

Notably, Vietnam will be also given opportunities to reinforce ties with the international community as Vienna is home to many international organizations and UN bodies like the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), among others, Kien said.

 The Vietnamese delegation meets representatives of the Vietnamese community in Europe and ambassadors to six countries Austria, Czech, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.  

Vaccine diplomacy becomes a key purpose

On the first day of the tour, Hue met Vietnamese ambassadors to Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia to remind them of the vaccine diplomacy.

Hue told ambassadors to explore all contacts in the host countries to get vaccines and medical equipment under different forms namely donations, purchase, and rebuying their abundant supplies.

Over the past time, a number of European countries have supplied Vietnam with millions of vaccine doses, including 100,000 doses by the government of Hungary, and 150,000 doses by Slovakia. A Slovakian firm has committed to donating medical equipment worth EUR200,000 to Ho Chi Minh City.

Meanwhile, Czech Republic has donated 250,000 doses and pledged to resell 500,000 doses to Vietnam. Last week, Italy and Romania were committed to providing a total of more than one million doses to Vietnam.

Poland has provided Vietnam with 500,000 doses, making Vietnam the first recipient country of Poland’s vaccine donations outside Europe. A batch of Poland-donated medical equipment worth US$4 million will arrive in Vietnam on September 7. In addition, the two countries are negotiating on Vietnam’s repurchasing of three million doses.

The German government has announced a donation of 2.5 million doses and medical equipment to Vietnam, including 75 ventilators. Earlier, states and businesses across Germany have offered 800,000 test kits, masks, and medical equipment to Vietnam.