State President Nguyen Minh Triet and a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation arrived in the capital city of Tunis on April 12 afternoon (local time), starting a two-day State visit to Tunisia at the invitation of President Zeine Al-Abidine Ben Ali.
|President Nguyen Minh Triet (L) is welcomed by Tunisian President Zeine Al-Abidine Ben Ali in the capital city of Tunis April 12 (Photo: VNA)|
The visit is the first-ever by a Vietnamese head of State to Tunisia since the two countries established diplomatic ties on December 15, 1972.
After an official welcoming ceremony in the Carthage Palace, State President Triet held talks with Tunisian President Zeine Al-Abidine Ben Ali, during which he affirmed that Vietnam, in its foreign policy, always attaches importance to developing the relationship with Tunisia and considers the country one of its priority partners in North Africa.
He spoke highly of the achievements that the Tunisian people have made during their national construction and development and said he was pleased with positive developments in the bilateral ties over the past time.
For his part, President Zeine Al-Abidine Ben Ali said the Vietnamese State leader’s visit is of historical significance, opening a new chapter in the multi-faceted relations between the two countries.
He praised Vietnam’s achievements over the past time, especially its efforts to overcome the negative impacts of the global economic recession in order to maintain its dynamism and attractiveness in the Asia-Pacific region.
He also affirmed that Tunisia, in its expansion policy, attaches importance to developing ties with Vietnam, considering it one of the priorities in Southeast Asia.
The two leaders discussed at length specific measures to strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation, particularly in oil and gas, trade, agriculture, and tourism.
They agreed to increase the exchange of delegations at all levels and soon negotiate on the signing of agreements, paving the way for long-term cooperation and creating favourable conditions for investment and trade relations between the two countries.
On behalf of the Vietnamese State, President Triet invited the Tunisian President to pay an official visit to Vietnam in the earliest time.
Parallel with the talks between the heads of the two States, leaders of Vietnamese ministries and agencies discussed with Tunisian partners on orientations and specific measures to expand bilateral cooperation in many fields. They agreed to coordinate in preparing for the 2 nd session of the Vietnam-Tunisia Inter-Government Committee.
On the evening of April 12 (local time), President Zeine Al-Abidine Ben Ali hosted a banquet for the Vietnamese delegation.
After that, President Triet attended and delivered a speech at the Vietnam-Tunisia Business Forum held at the Headquarters of the Tunisian Union for Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts (UTICA) in Tunis.
He expressed that the results of the talks between him and the Tunisian President have opened a great opportunity for the two countries to boost economic-trade and investment relations.
Vietnam and Tunisia supported each other in their struggles for national liberation in the past and nowadays, they should continue strengthening the solidarity and cooperation for mutual development, President Triet said, adding that Tunisia is a traditional friend of Vietnam.
He noted that the Vietnamese State is making efforts to create a more transparent business environment to lure foreign investors, including those from Tunisia.
Vietnam has a young and abundant human resource that can meet investors’ demands while it also needs the involvement of foreign investors in such fields as trade, service, finance and credit, he said.
The Vietnamese State leader called upon the two countries’ businesses to strengthen cooperation, helping boost the friendship between the two peoples. He also affirmed that Vietnam wants Tunisian businesses to come to Vietnam to seek cooperation and investment opportunities.