During their talks in Addis Ababa on Thursday, President of Ethiopia Mulatu Teshome described the State visit to his country by President Trần Đại Quang as a particularly important political event.
The host said President Quang is the first head of State of Việt Nam to visit Ethiopia since the two countries set up diplomatic ties in 1976. He expressed his belief that the visit will create new momentum for bilateral relations in the time ahead.
Quang congratulated Ethiopia on its impressive strides which have turned the country into an example of strong economic development in Africa with an average growth rate of 10 per cent over the past decade, considerably improving its people’s living standards and opening up many prospects for co-operation with various countries around the world, including Việt Nam.
Teshome said the Ethiopian people and himself always admire the Vietnamese people for their struggle for national independence in the past and development achievements at present.
He noted that he is impressed with Việt Nam’s becoming an economy with fast and stable economic growth and a leading exporter of agricultural products in the world. He hopes the Southeast Asian nation will share experiences in economic development, especially in the fields of agriculture and aquaculture.
The two sides said Việt Nam and Ethiopia have a fine traditional friendship – an important basis for promoting economic, trade and investment ties. They agreed to provide favourable conditions for the countries’ enterprises to invest and do business in each other’s markets, specify suitable payment measures to support businesses, and increase market surveys and share policy information. They will also consider appointing honorary consuls to create more connection channels and tap into economic partnership opportunities in a timely manner.
The presidents agreed to step up delegation exchanges at all levels, co-operation between the two countries’ parliaments and localities, as well as people-to-people, cultural and sports exchanges to boost mutual understanding.
At the end of the talks, the leaders witnessed the signing of co-operation documents, including a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on investment co-operation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ethiopian Investment Commission, an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders and an MoU on co-operation between the two ministries of foreign affairs.
Subsequently, the two Presidents held a press meeting to announce the talks’ outcomes.
The Vietnamese leader voiced his belief that his visit will be an important milestone in bringing bilateral co-operation to a new stage in line with the sound traditional friendship.
The Presidents told the media that they discussed all aspects of co-operation and reached strong consensus on measures to enhance political ties and expand connections in economy, agriculture, telecommunications, aviation, culture and tourism. They considered their economic partnership as the foundation for developing bilateral co-operation in a substantive fashion.
Việt Nam and Ethiopia are determined to continue supporting each other to reach development targets for the sake of common progress and prosperity in Asia and Africa. They will also maintain mutual support within the framework of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement and the South-South Co-operation initiative, President Quang said.
He added the countries also share views on the need to peacefully solve disputes and comply with international law.
The Vietnamese leader also noted that with the countries’ resolve to raise bilateral trade, Việt Nam can export agricultural products, tea, coffee, rubber, electronic products, building materials and vehicles to Ethiopia, and share experience and cooperate with the African nation in rice production and export. He also pledged to facilitate the two business communities’ promotion of trade and investment, participation in fairs and information exchange.
Teshome said to bolster mutual understanding, the two countries should strengthen political trust at a high level and connections at all levels. He also emphasised the importance of peace and security for the prosperity of all nations.
Ethiopia and Việt Nam boast huge co-operation potential in various spheres, particularly trade, investment, food processing and infrastructure development, he said, affirming that his country is ready to create the best conditions for Vietnamese firms to access its market to seek investment and business chances. It is also willing to intensify collaboration in education, agriculture and aviation.
The leaders agreed to consider opening a direct air route to facilitate travel, exchange and trade between the two countries.
Meeting with Ethiopian PM
Quang on the same day met with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, during which the two leaders pledged that Việt Nam and Ethiopia will make better use of co-operation opportunities, promote trade exchanges and expand the list of high-quality goods with competitive prices while increasing information sharing and facilitating businesses’ investment promotion.
Quang suggested Ethiopia enable Vietnamese firms, including the telecom group Viettel, to seek investment co-operation opportunities in Ethiopia in telecommunications, trade, agriculture, aviation and the construction of small and medium-sized hydropower plants.
As regards agriculture, the host and guest said Việt Nam’s experience in agricultural cultivation could be applied in Ethiopia to help the country ensure food security and agricultural development.
PM Ahmed said 80 per cent of the Ethiopian population relies on agriculture for their livelihoods, so the country places a high premium on the sector.
Ethiopia highly values Việt Nam’s agricultural experience and development, especially in rice and coffee cultivation, he said, expressing his hope that Việt Nam will assist his country in human resources training and share experiences in agriculture, which is the main co-operation orientation in the coming time.
Bilateral trade hit US$11.3 million in 2017, of which Việt Nam exported $2.2 million worth of goods, mainly garment-textiles, footwear and chemical products.
In April 2014, Ethiopia recognised Việt Nam’s market economy status. — VNS