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Spain treasures comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam: official

A Spanish official affirmed that the European country attaches importance to comprehensive cooperation with Vietnam while addressing a ceremony held in Madrid by the Vietnamese Embassy on October 3.

The event celebrated the 77th National Day of Vietnam (September 2) and the 45th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties.

In his remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador Hoang Xuan Hai emphasised the significance of the date September 2, 1945, that marked the founding of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam), along with brilliant milestones over the last 77 years, especially the country’s outstanding achievements in reform, international integration, and national development since 1986.

He noted the year 2022 holds special importance to Vietnam - Spain relations as they mark the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and 13 years since the establishment of the strategic partnership.

Highlighting the strides in bilateral relations, he said Spain was the first EU member to set up a strategic partnership with Vietnam, in December 2009. The two sides have organised many mutual high-ranking visits and signed cooperation agreements in various spheres.

Their trade surged from nearly 1.2 billion USD in 2009 to over 3 billion VND annually in recent years. It stood at 2.46 billion USD in the first eight months of 2022. Spain is investing nearly 141 million USD in more than 80 projects in Vietnam.

Spain has also provided concessional loans and commercial credit for Vietnam to develop the economy, Hai noted.

However, he held that bilateral cooperation has yet to live up to the strategic partnership as well as the two countries’ potential and aspirations.

The ambassador added he hopes that Vietnamese and Spanish enterprises will capitalise on the EU - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which already came into force, and the EU - Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) that was ratified by the Spanish parliament, to strongly promote economic, trade, and investment links.

For her part, Xiana Margarida Méndez Bértolo, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, congratulated Vietnam on its impressive achievements over the last 77 years and described the country as a good example for other countries to refer to.

She said Vietnam is a leading ASEAN partner of her country, and that Spain attaches importance to the reinforcement of all-round cooperation with the Southeast Asian nation.

The official expressed her hope that the strategic partnership will continue developing intensively and extensively in the coming time.

Also on October 3, the Vietnamese Embassy, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Vietnam National Academy of Music, and the Madrid Royal Conservatory held a concert in celebration of Vietnam’s 77th National Day and the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties./.