Nepal, Vietnam agree to promote bilateral trade, cooperation

Published On: May 12, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The two PMs task authorities to explore possibilities of trade promotion activities in areas such as electric appliances, coffee, tea, seafood, textiles, leather footwear, and to explore new areas of cooperation, including energy, renewable energy, high-tech agriculture and tourism

KATHMANDU, May 12: Nepal and Vietnam have agreed to promote trade and enhance cooperation in various sectors between the two countries in the days to come.

Issuing a 16-point joint statement on the official visit of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Saturday, the two sides have emphasized the need of exploring trade and business opportunities in the two countries and further strengthening bilateral cooperation.

Prime Minister Oli and his Viet Nam counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc shared the assessment that the bilateral economic and trade cooperation remained far below their potentials and strengths. “They have tasked their relevant authorities to explore establishment of bilateral economic and trade cooperation mechanisms, encourage their businesses to survey each other's markets and participate in trade promotion activities, particularly in such areas as electric appliances, coffee, tea, seafood, textiles and leather footwear and to explore new areas of cooperation, including energy, renewable energy, high-tech agriculture, and tourism,” reads the joint statement.

“Both leaders agreed to look into proposals for market access for agricultural products that they held a competitive edge in, encourage information exchange and cooperation in agricultural science and technical research, and promote exchange of agricultural experts,” it is further stated.

The statement says that the Vietnamese side welcomed further imports of Nepali products into Viet Nam's market and agreed to encourage Vietnamese investors and entrepreneurs to invest in productive sectors in Nepal.

The two sides have also agreed to enhance cooperation in culture, tourism and people-to-people interactions. “Both leaders agreed to encourage more tourists to each other's tourist attractions. The Vietnamese side expressed its support to the Visit Nepal Year 2020 by sending more tourists to Nepal, including Buddhist pilgrims to Lumbini, the birth place of Buddha and the fountain of Buddhism,” it said.

They have also underlined the need for establishing direct air services between the two countries and instructed the concerned ministries to consider an agreement on air services at the earliest to promote trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contacts.

Viet Nam Prime Minister Phuc expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Oli for having chosen Viet Nam as his first visit destination in Southeast Asia since he took office in February 2018, underlining that the first visit of a Nepali Prime Minister to Viet Nam would contribute to strengthening the multifaceted relations between the two countries in the coming days, it said.

The prime minister of Viet Nam congratulated the people of Nepal for their historic political achievement and for their unique and homegrown peace process, its institutionalization through a democratic constitution and the formation of a stable government.

The two sides signed an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on establishment of bilateral consultation mechanisms between the two ministries of foreign affairs and a letter of intent on negotiating and signing a framework agreement on trade and investment cooperation.

The two prime ministers underscored the importance of Buddhism as a strong binding thread between the peoples of the two countries.

“Both the prime ministers spoke highly of the cooperation and coordination between the two countries at regional and international forums, including the United Nations, and agreed to further strengthen this tradition,” reads the statement. “Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc expressed his gratitude to the government of Nepal for supporting Viet Nam's bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the term of 2020-2021.”

Oli left for a visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Cambodia on Thursday. He is paying official visits to Viet Nam on 9-13 May and to Cambodia on 13-15 May.

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