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Vietnamese, Irish Prime Ministers hold talks

Dublin (VNA) – Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with Prime Minister Berti Ahern of Ireland on March 10 during his official visit to Ireland .

PM Dung thanked PM Berti Ahern for his warm welcome to the Vietnamese delegation and expressed his pleasure at the development of Viet Nam-Ireland relations in various areas over the recent past, particularly Ireland ’s aid of 120 million USD for development cooperation in the 2007-2010 period focusing on poverty alleviation and health care in Viet Nam .

The Vietnamese PM informed his Irish counterpart of Viet Nam ’s socio-economic development and asked Ireland to continue providing official development assistance for Viet Nam after 2010. He also requested that Ireland promote investment and trade, increase scholarships for Vietnamese students to study in Ireland and help Viet Nam train teachers of English and improve the English teaching in Viet Nam .

He mentioned the possibility for the signing of an agreement on cooperation in education and training, creating a legal framework for the two sides to promote bilateral cooperation in the area.

PM Dung also asked Ireland to assist Viet Nam in promoting multifaceted cooperation with the European Union, especially in its negotiations with the EC for an early recognition as a market economy and not impose anti-dumping taxes on Vietnamese goods exported to the EU market.

PM Dung also took the occasion to thank the Irish government and people for selecting Viet Nam as one among nine priority countries to receive Irish ODA, and for their support of Viet Nam to be a UN Security Council non-permanent member for the 2008-09 term as well as their help to the country during the negotiations of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU.

Prime Minister Bertie Ahern spoke highly of Viet Nam ’s socio-economic achievements, particularly in hunger alleviation and poverty reduction which put Viet Nam in the frontline in implementing the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The Irish PM affirmed that Ireland will continue to support Viet Nam in hunger eradication and share experiences in economic development, especially in foreign investment attraction, banking and financial system development and high-quality human resource training.

The two PMs also exchanged views on measures to boost bilateral cooperation as well as regional and international matters of common concerns.

The two Prime Ministers were of the view that bilateral commercial and investment ties remained modest, failing to match their potential and expectations (two-way trade between the two countries reached 65 million USD and there are only four Irish-invested projects in Viet Nam with a total capital of 4.3 million USD). Accordingly, the two sides agreed to create favourable conditions for businesses of the two countries to enter each other’s market to seek investment opportunities, particularly for Irish businesses to invest in Viet Nam .

PM Dung invited his Irish counterpart to make an official visit to Viet Nam in the near future and the Irish PM accepted the invitation with pleasure.

At the end of the talks, the two PMs witnessed the signing of an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and a Memorandum of Understanding on development cooperation between the two governments.

Later the same day, PM Dung, his wife and his entourage left Dublin for Viet Nam , wrapping up their official visit to Ireland.

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