PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to Saudi Arabia significant to further relations: Ambassador

WVR/VNA - From October 18 - 20, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh will lead a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to attend the ASEAN - Gulf Cooperation Council Summit (ASEAN-GCC) and pay a visit to Saudi Arabia, at the invitation of Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
PM Pham Minh Chinh’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia significant to further relations: Ambassador
PM Pham Minh Chinh’s visit to Saudi Arabia significant to further relations:Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dang Xuan Dung. (Photo: WVR)

The visit holds significance in further strengthening cooperative ties between two leading organisations in Southeast Asia and the Gulf region, fostering collaboration, enhancing political trust, and improving the effectiveness of cooperation between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

The upcoming Summit in Riyadh will mark the first time that leaders from ASEAN and GCC member states have come together.

Sharon Seah, a senior member and coordinator of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the Yusof Ishak Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS-Yusof Ishak) based in Singapore, expressed her belief that the leaders will adopt an action plan for the upcoming period, aiming to create a new milestone in bilateral cooperation.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dang Xuan Dung said documents to be reached at the Summit will provide a solid foundation and further elevate the relationship between the two blocs, particularly in areas with high potential, such as the economy, trade, culture, and people-to-people exchanges.

All six GCC member countries are Vietnam's priority partners in the Middle East, with broad-ranging links across various areas, including politics, diplomacy, trade, investment, official development assistance (ODA), and labour.

At present, about 11,000 Vietnamese labourers are working in GCC countries. Vietnam is in the process of negotiating a comprehensive economic partnership agreement (CEPA) with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

As part of the broader framework of ASEAN-GCC cooperation, the close partnership between Vietnam and Saudi Arabia over the past 24 years has made significant strides.

Two-way trade surpassed 2.7 billion USD last year, up 32.4% annually. Vietnam mostly exports mobile phones and components, apparel, wood and wooden furniture, cashew nuts, rice, machinery, equipment, and spare parts while importing raw plastics, chemicals, and liquefied petroleum gas from the Middle East country.

Many corporations and companies from Saudi Arabia are now involved in projects in Vietnam, such as the Zamil Steel Group and the Sabic Group. The Saudi Fund for Development has provided preferential loans for 13 projects with a total value of over 181 million USD. Around 4,000-5,000 Vietnamese labourers are working in Saudi Arabia.

Against such a backdrop, Prime Minister Chinh's visit to Saudi Arabia is expected to contribute to strengthening political trust, elevating the bilateral relationship to a more substantial and effective level across various aspects, including politics, diplomacy, the economy, trade, investment, and labour, toward celebrating the 25th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties next year.

In particular, the visit is anticipated to yield specific cooperation results in trade and investment, with a focus on green growth, infrastructure, energy, industry, high technology, as well as create opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products to enter Saudi Arabia while making it easier for Saudi Arabia to receive more skilled Vietnamese workers.

Ambassador Dung said the Prime Minister's activities will focus on investment, economic relations, labour, and more. Several memoranda of understanding are scheduled to be signed, and ministries, agencies and businesses from both sides will have the opportunity to work and connect effectively together, especially through the business forum and other business meetings.

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(Source: WVR/VNA)