Preserving and promoting valuable asset in Vietnam-Poland relations: Polish Chargé d'Affaires

WVR - On the occasion of the Polish Foreign Minister’s visit to Vietnam, Ms. Justyna Pabian, Chargé d'Affaires of Poland to Vietnam, gave an interview to The World and Vietnam Report.
Preserving and promoting the precious assets of Vietnam-Poland
The Opening ceremony of Polish Film Week in Vietnam on March 11, 2023. (Source: Polish Embassy in Vietnam)

Could you touch on the purpose and significance of the Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau’s upcoming visit to Vietnam? What are your expectations for this visit?

Vietnam remains Poland’s most important partner in Southeast Asia. Our countries have been closely cooperating for over 73 years now and I am in no doubt that we will further continue to do so. The upcoming visit of the Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau in Vietnam is concrete proof of that fact.

"The most valuable asset in the diplomatic relations between Poland and Vietnam is the trust and heart-warming friendship, which has been developed and nurtured throughout the long history of 73 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations" - Ms. Justyna Pabian, Chargé d'Affaires of Poland to Vietnam.

The global situation has become complicated in recent years, especially because of the pandemic and situation in Ukraine, and yet the relations between Poland and Vietnam have continued to develop. During the pandemic our countries were helping each other and proved to be loyal and supportive partners.

The invitation for Minister Rau to visit Vietnam as extended during phone conversation between Minister Rau and Minister Bui Thanh Son in 2021. Obviously nothing can replace meetings in person and we hope that the visit will contribute to enhancing our bilateral cooperation in multiple fields, including political, economic, educational, cultural and many others.

We also look forward to signing a Memorandum Of Understanding on diplomatic training and academic cooperation between the Polish Diplomatic Academy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam. It will be a valuable, longstanding instrument enabling the diplomatic institutions from both countries to exchange expertise on training diplomats and learn from each other.

What will be the Foreign Minister’s priority during his time in Vietnam?

Minister Rau comes to Vietnam to discuss our bilateral cooperation as well as global issues, mainly related to security. We have been very satisfied with development of Polish-Vietnamese economic cooperation but we would be very much interested in promoting trade and investment cooperation between the two countries in the areas where Poland has advantages and Vietnam has needs such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals and digital technology, etc.

Currently, it can be easy for Vietnamese people to find Polish agro-food products in the super markets, such as dairy products, pork, poultry, and high quality products of apples, sweets, chocolates, etc. Beef, one of Poland’s potential, has been also recently approved by the Vietnamese side to export to Vietnam. But Poland still has much more to offer, especially when the EVFTA has come into effect since August 2020, and most barriers in terms of tax would be removed, sooner or later.

I believe during talks there will be also a lot of focus on education sector. Polish universities are ready to receive Vietnamese students and provide high quality higher education. In the past we used to host Vietnamese students in high numbers and we hope that new generations will consider to study in Poland as well.

Actually till the end of this month Vietnamese students can apply for the Banach Scholarship Programme, which creates the opportunity for second degree studies at Polish universities in the field of engineering and technical sciences, agricultural sciences etc. I strongly encourage students to check the Embassy’s website and consider applying.

Poland was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam. How do you evaluate the relationship between the two countries over 73 years?

The most valuable asset in the diplomatic relations between Poland and Vietnam is the trust and heart-warming friendship, which has been developed and nurtured throughout the long history of 73 years of the establishment of diplomatic relations. In two years, we will celebrate our milestone of 75th anniversary.

I believe the both sides can be proud that despite the geographical distance two countries managed to maintain close relations. Poland has been always ready to support Vietnam, starting from Poland’s participation in the International Commission for Supervision and Control in 1954 to Polish donation of vaccines against COVID-19 during pandemic as well as support of Polish Government in organizing special flights for Vietnamese who had to evacuate from Ukraine.

Preserving and promoting the precious assets of Vietnam-Poland
Ms. Justyna Pabian and members of the Vietnam-Poland Friendship Association in Hanoi. (Source: Polish Embassy in Vietnam)

How do you assess the results of the two countries' people-to-people diplomacy?

I believe that without efforts and friendship between Poles and Vietnamese that has developed over the years, our official relations would have looked very differently. Thousands of Vietnamese students studied in Poland, learned Polish language and consider Poland as their second homeland.

Right now in Vietnam we have around four thousands Vietnamese graduates of Polish universities who maintain their very close relations with Poles and Poland. They are associated in Vietnamese-Polish Friendship Association and they actively promote Polish-Vietnamese cooperation in the fields of culture, education, economy and tourism. Polish Embassy in Hanoi is very grateful for their continuous support.

Even this week, thanks to the cooperation of Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam-Poland Friendship Association and Association of Polish Filmmakers, Vietnamese audience in Hanoi, Hue and Da Nang has the chance to watch Polish films. It is worth mentioning that members of the Associations are mostly people who studied in Poland between 1950-1980.

Therefore it is our priority to make sure that young Vietnamese will also have the opportunity to study in Poland, get to know our country and later support development of the relations.

What is your impression of the country and people of Vietnam?

I came to Vietnam less than two months ago and I have to admit I haven’t yet had much chance to see the country. I can already say that Hanoi and Vietnamese made a very good first impression. I appreciate the kindness and hospitality of the people who I work with and who I meet daily in the streets.

Hanoi is very vibrant, energetic city and whenever I get a chance I try to walk in the city and discover less known places. Of course when talking about Vietnam, one cannot forget about amazing Vietnamese cuisine and coffee. I believe I am already addicted to coconut coffee. I am very excited to be here and looking forward to get to know the country, its history and culture better.

Thank you!

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