The statement was made by Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.K. and Ireland Nguyen Hoang Long in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of the trip.

Long emphasized that the visit, to be made at the invitation of Irish Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) and Foreign Minister Micheál Martin, is of great significance in promoting Vietnam - Ireland relations, as this is the first by a Vietnamese Foreign Minister to Ireland after 20 years since the one by Minister Nguyen Dy Nien.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the U.K. and Ireland Nguyen Hoang Long

During his stay, Son is scheduled to hold talks with Irish Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister Micheál Martin, and pay courtesy visits to President Michael D. Higgins and Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann (speaker of the lower house) Seán Ó Fearghaíl.

The two sides will discuss many important issues in bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues, including the East Sea (South China Sea) issue.

The diplomat said that the visit will contribute to promoting political trust and the exchange of high-level delegations between the two countries, especially preparations for the upcoming state visit to Ireland by President Vo Van Thuong.

The two sides will discuss measures to intensify cooperation at multilateral forums and close coordination in solving regional and global issues.

Regarding the bilateral relations, Ambassador Long said that the two countries have reaped positive results in economic, trade and investment collaboration. Two-way trade reached USD 3.5 billion last year, of which USD 340 million came from Vietnam’s exports. Currently, Ireland ranks 61st out of the 141 countries and territories pouring capital into the Southeast Asian nation, with a combined registered capital of USD 44.3 million in 41 projects.

According to the diplomat, education and training has an important position and is a bright spot in bilateral cooperation. The two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in higher education and another on collaboration in information technology and communications training in November 2016. Since 2009, the Irish Government has offered Vietnam full scholarships under the Irish Development Experience Sharing Program (IDEAS).

The two sides are also working to bring into full play advantages in cooperation in health, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, sustainable development, and information technology, he said.

In the “Global Ireland: Delivering in the Asia-Pacific region to 2025” strategy, introduced in January 2020, Ireland considered Vietnam one of its important partners in the Asia-Pacific region in general and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in particular. Vietnam is currently the only country in the region that Ireland has included in its international development cooperation program called Irish Aid to promote collaboration between the two countries in such areas as climate action, gender equality, settlement of bomb and mine consequences, education, and people-to-people exchanges.

Source: VNA