Vietnam, Norway promote contacts, investment cooperation
Hanoi (VNA) – President Nguyen Minh Triet and his wife will pay a State visit to Norway from June 5-7 at the invitation of King Harald V.
This will be the first State visit by a Vietnamese President to Norway since the two countries established diplomatic ties in November 1971.
Vietnam-Norway friendly and cooperative ties have been constantly promoted and developed over more than three decades, with the exchange of many high-level delegations.
Three Vietnamese Prime Ministers have visited Norway : its by Prime Minister Pham Van Dong in June 1997, Vo Van Kiet in June 1995, and Phan Van Khai in September 1999. High-profile Norwegian guests to Vietnam included Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brunntland (October 1996), Princess Martha Louis (December 1999) and King Harald V and Queen Sonja (November 2004).
In the past, Norway was a strong supporter of the Vietnamese people’s struggle for national independence. Nowadays, Norway actively assists Vietnam in the renewal process, poverty reduction and international integration.
The two countries have also effectively cooperated in international forums such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and the World Bank.
Vietnam – Norway bilateral trade over the recent past focused on sea transport, fisheries, oil and gas, telecoms and energy.
The two countries signed a Framework Agreement on Development Cooperation in June 1996. To date, Norway has provided Vietnam with 200 million USD in non-refundable aid, mainly for the areas of education, state management and economic development, especially the private economic sector.
Norway-funded projects, though small, are effective with a high rate of capital disbursement at about 90 percent. The most successful include projects on rural development in Quang Tri province, construction of primary schools in flood-prone Quang Tri, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces, and a boarding school for poor children in Lai Chau province.
Bilateral trade remains modest, at under 100 million USD a year. Vietnam exports mainly seafood, garments and textiles, footwear, farm produce and art and handicraft products to Norway; and imports from the North European country seafood, paper pulp, minerals, chemicals, fertilisers, plastics, metal and telecom equipment.
Norway currently has 14 investment projects with a total registered capital of 35.2 million USD in Vietnam , ranking 43rd among 83 countries and territories to invest in the country.
During the State visit, President Nguyen Minh Triet is scheduled to meet with Norwegian President of the Parliament Thorbjorn Jagland and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.
A number of cooperation agreements in environmental protection, education and training and other areas will be signed during the visit.
On the occasion, a Vietnam-Norway business forum will be held in Oslo on June 6, a chance for about 60 Vietnamese businesses to seek partners for investment and trade in Norway.
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