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Morocco, Vietnam enjoy sound friendship, cooperation: diplomat

Vietnam and Morocco have shared sound friendship and partnership in all fields over the past six decade, Moroccan  Ambassador to Vietnam Jamale Chouaibi said in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations (March 27).

The commemoration is an opportunity to celebrate the friendship between the two countries’ people, to assess the progress of cooperation between our two countries and to reflect on the best ways to strengthen and broaden the scope of this cooperation, the diplomat said.

Noting that relations between Morocco and Vietnam existed long before the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1961, he said the shared interest in strengthening collaboration between the two countries reflects their common desire to promote and consolidate South-South cooperation, and respond to global economic, political, social and environmental challenges, mainly through the sharing of experiences and good practices, and the promotion of knowledge and expertise among developing countries.

In terms of politics, Morocco and Vietnam share several fundamental principles relating to their external relations, and pledge to implement the principle of settling disputes through dialogue, negotiation and mediation.

The two countries’ political ties have been also strengthened via increasing the exchange of high-level delegations, at government and parliamentary level.

The visit by National Assembly Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan to Morocco in March 2019, and the tour of Vietnam by President of the House of Representatives of Morocco Habib El Malki in December 2017 were milestones in fostering political and parliamentary cooperation between the two countries, he said.

Morocco and Vietnam have maintained regular consultations, through the Joint Committee mechanism. The two countries have so far held four joint committee meetings and five political consultation sessions. The 5th meeting of the Joint Committee and the 6th session of bilateral political consultations are scheduled for next November in Rabat, he added.

On the economic aspect, the positive development of bilateral cooperation is reflected by an increase in trade of nearly 50 percent during 2015 and 2019. Vietnam is currently Morocco’s second largest trading partner in ASEAN.

Bilateral economic relations have been strengthened by the signing of trade agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the ministries in charge of trade. A trade agreement was recently signed between the Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam and the Ministry of Industry, Investment, Trade and Digital Economy of Morocco to promote cooperation in many areas of common interest, such as renewable energies, textiles, clothing, electronics and mechanical industries, chemical industry and fertiliser production.

A MoU between the two ministries in charge of trade was also signed recently on the establishment of a subcommittee on trade and industrial cooperation with the aim of promoting bilateral trade and supporting SMEs.

Meanwhile, he noted that the two sides are determined to strengthen and expand their bilateral partnership. This is evidenced by the growing number of agreements signed between the two countries, which cover a wide range of sectors such as trade and investment, energy and mining, banking, education and training, air services, as well as MoUs between several universities and cities of the two countries.

Although bilateral trade has yet to reach its potential and met both sides’ expectations, it is growing year by year, he said.

Morocco’s upcoming appointment an Honorary Consul in Ho Chi Minh City is expected to give new impetus to trade and business opportunities between the two countries, he said, adding that plans and visions both are looking towards in terms of renewable energies, digital transformation, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure and logistics, industrial and technological acceleration, with the aim of becoming leading emerging economies in their respective regions, should be opportunities for Morocco and Vietnam to share their experience, expertise and know-how through the establishment of joint sectoral committees in the areas.

The ambassador highlighted a virtual photo exhibition on historical and remarkable landmarks since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The exhibition has been organised by the Moroccan Embassy in Hanoi the VNA.

A series of economic and cultural events will be held through 2021 with the participation of heads of ministries and departments as well as experts, scientists and researchers, he added.

He held that Vietnam is now one of the few countries to successfully achieve the dual targets of combating COVID-19 pandemic and boosting economic development.

He attributed the success to the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam in applying measures to combat the pandemic and encouraging the involvement of all people in the fight./.