Since the two sides set up their diplomatic relations on June 10, 1994, Vietnam and North Macedonia have maintained sound friendship and high mutual trust.

The two sides have shared a tradition of mutual support at international forums such as the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) and the ASEAN - Europe Parliamentary Partnership (ASEP). North Macedonia supported Vietnam as a member of the U.N. Security Council in the 2008-2009 and 2020-2021 tenures, while the two countries have also backed each other in joining the U.N. Human Rights Council, he noted.

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Vietnamese Ambassador to North Macedonia Do Hoang Long

In terms of economy, two-way trade stood at about 8-12 million USD each year, said the diplomat, commenting that the result has yet to match the potential of cooperation between the two countries. The two countries' signing of an investment promotion and protection agreement, a double taxation avoidance agreement and an economic cooperation deal has demonstrated their efforts and determination to create a favorable legal framework to facilitate economic cooperation and increase trade turnover, he added.

Ambassador Long noted that the two sides have also cooperated in many other areas such as law-building, education, culture, tourism and people-to-people exchange.

Regarding collaboration potential between the two countries, the diplomat said that Vietnam and North Macedonia boast great potential for cooperation both bilaterally and at multilateral forums.

Vietnam has repeatedly affirmed that the country is willing to act as a bridge to connect North Macedonia and ASEAN, while North Macedonia can help Vietnam enter the Balkan market.

The two countries need to effectively make use of economic agreements to increase trade turnover and expand markets, especially in potential fields where the two countries have strengths such as agriculture, food processing and textiles, he held.

Highlighting that the two countries have rich historical and cultural traditions, he underlined that there is still much room for the two sides to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as tourism cooperation.

Besides, there are a number of other fields that North Macedonia is focusing on developing such as education - training, health and science and technology, which also match Vietnam’s interest and demand, enabling the two sides to share experience and seek new cooperation opportunities.

Regarding multilateral cooperation, the two sides have a tradition of good cooperation at international and regional forums and mutual support at important U.N. positions such as the Security Council, Human Rights Council, and Economic and Social Council.

Through contacts at all levels, Vietnam has expressed support for North Macedonia's efforts to open up and integrate regionally and internationally, including the roadmap to join the European Union (E.U.), while North Macedonia has also repeatedly affirmed its backing for Vietnam's views and stance on settling disputes through peaceful measures on the basis of the U.N. Charter and international law, including the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982. These are important premises for the two countries to develop cooperative relationships at multilateral forums, contributing to common efforts to maintain peace, stability and development in the region and the world, Ambassador Long said.

In order to further promote bilateral relations in the coming time, the diplomat said that the two sides should increase the exchange of delegations at all levels, especially visits by senior leaders, while increasing trade and investment promotion activities and creating favorable conditions for businesses of the two countries to access each other's markets.

Besides, the two sides should focus on seeking new cooperation opportunities, especially in areas and products of each other’s strengths and demand, while expanding partnerships in education, training, culture, tourism, agriculture, health care, and science-technology, and signing new cooperation deals in these areas.

The two countries need to continue to strengthen coordination and support each other in international and regional forums, back each other's candidacies for important U.N. agencies, maintain coordination on regional and international issues of mutual concern, contributing to the common efforts of the international community for peace, stability and sustainable development on the basis of respect for international law and the U.N. Charter, the diplomat stated.

He also sketched out a number of areas that the two sides will focus on in 2023 and following years, including establishing a Vietnam-North Macedonia Inter-Governmental Committee for Cooperation, and organizing a number of business forums and trade promotion events.

Source: VNA