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Vietnam Prime Minister’s visit creates new momentum for bilateral relations: Turkish Ambassador

The visit of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh to Trkiye will generate a fresh momentum, providing both countries with an opportunity to assess and further advance bilateral relations across various sectors, Turkish Ambassador Haldun Tekneci told the Vietnam News Agency. The following is the full text of the interview that the Ambassador granted to the VNA on the occasion of PM Chinh's official visit to Trkiye. Reporter: What are your assessments on the visit by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse to Trkiye in the context that the two countries celebrate the 45th year of the bilateral diplomatic relations? Ambassador Haldun Tekneci: We are delighted and honoured to welcome and host Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and his spouse, Madame Le Thi Bich Tran. This visit marks the first official visit from Vietnam to Trkiye at the level of Prime Minister. Its historical significance is further enhanced as it aligns with the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic and the 45th anniversary of the establis hment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Our friendly relations are rooted in mutual respect, and the people of Trkiye and Vietnam share a positive perception of each other. Despite the considerable geographical distance, we have witnessed the growth and diversification of connections between Trkiye and Vietnam over the years. Commercial, economic, social, cultural, developmental assistance, educational, and tourism-related bonds, among others, between the two countries have experienced an upward trajectory. Bilateral trade, exceeding 2 billion USD, the strengthening presence of Turkish investors in Vietnam, projects carried out by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Turkish state scholarships granted to Vietnamese students, and the broadcast of Turkish TV series in Vietnam have all played their part in reinforcing the ties between Trkiye and Vietnam. We are confident that His Excellency Pham Minh Chinh's visit will generate a fresh momentum, providing both countries with an op portunity to assess and further advance bilateral relations across various sectors. Reporter: Which are the highlights of the relationship of the two countries over the past 45 years? Ambassador Haldun Tekneci: There are of course many highlights that characterize the relations between Trkiye and Vietnam. Notable among them are improvement of contractual relations, the establishment of direct flights for both passenger and cargo between our countries and Vietnam's recent show of solidarity following the earthquake disaster in Trkiye early this year. Turkish Airlines, our national flag carrier, maintains a direct link between our nations through regular flights to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City from Istanbul. We are pleased to witness the deepening cooperation between Vietnam Airlines and Turkish Airlines. I believe that the increasing number of passenger and cargo flights will continue to positively impact the strengthening of the bonds between our two nations. When formidable earthquakes struck Trkiye on Feb ruary 6, 2023, Vietnam demonstrated unwavering commitment by contributing to international humanitarian aid and participating in search and rescue missions. It is noteworthy that this marked the first time a military Vietnamese search and rescue team operated outside Vietnam, underscoring the value Vietnam places on its relationship with Trkiye. We deeply appreciate Vietnam's support and solidarity in alleviating the consequences of the loss and destruction caused by these earthquakes. Reporter: Although economic and trade cooperation is the brightest point of the bilateral relations, the achievements have not met the potential. So, in your opinion, what should the two countries do to realise the targeted two way trade revenue of 4 billion USD by 2025 as set by the two countries' leaders? Ambassador Haldun Tekneci: Our trade volume has exceeded 2 billion USD over the past decade. To meet the 4 billion USD target, fostering a more balanced and mutually beneficial outcome, our countries need to simplify impor t-export procedures, promote exchanges of business delegations, facilitate cross-border trade, and open up internal markets for products that complement each other. Additionally, it's worth noting the growing interest from Turkish businesses in the Vietnamese market. For example, Vietur, a consortium led by Trkiye's IC Içtas, recently secured a bid to construct the passenger terminal for Long Thanh International Airport. The ground-breaking ceremony took place in early September this year with the participation of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh. We anticipate that Turkish companies, spanning the heavy infrastructure construction, agriculture, renewable energy, technology, and fast-moving consumer goods sectors, will further expand their presence in Vietnam in the future. Simultaneously, we encourage and invite the Vietnamese business community to invest in Trkiye. Reporter: Along with economic cooperation, to which sectors will the two countries give priority to push up the relationship? Ambassador Haldun Tekneci: In addition to trade and investment, we recognize significant potential and are committed to exploring opportunities across various other fields, including fisheries, forestry, aviation, education, the defence industry, security, transportation, and logistics. Over the last decade, Trkiye's connections with Asian nations, including Vietnam, have steadily grown. A few years ago, we introduced the Asia Anew Initiative to further enhance our engagement with Asia. We have expanded our diplomatic presence in the region, establishing embassies in each ASEAN member country. Furthermore, we have implemented the "Far Countries Strategy" to better address the challenges encountered and opportunities presented when dealing with geographically distant nations, such as Vietnam. Additionally, Trkiye's Sectoral Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN, combined with the mutually complementary roles that Trkiye and Vietnam play in other international forums, provides us with further avenues for enhancing our relations./. Source: Vietnam News Agency

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